Weekly Features


News from around IU: 2016 Summer Olympic Games

Aug. 4, 2016

IUPUI sports journalism students get unique opportunity at Summer Olympics

Sports journalism students at IUPUI will have a rare opportunity to cover the world's biggest sporting spectacle, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

frank gogola and rebecca harris

From left, IUPUI graduate students Rebecca Harris and Frank Gogola will write stories for USA Daily, a digital newsletter produced by the U.S. Olympic Committee during the Rio Games. | PHOTO COURTESY OF MALCOLM MORAN

Frank Gogola and Rebecca Harris, graduate students in the Sports Capital Journalism Program in the School of Liberal Arts' Department of Journalism and Public Relations, will write stories for USA Daily, a digital newsletter produced by the U.S. Olympic Committee during the Rio Games.

The students arrived in Rio earlier this week. Malcolm Moran, Sports Capital Journalism program director, accompanied the students and will oversee their work.

Unlike the majority of college students involved in Olympics-related journalism initiatives, Gogola and Harris will receive the same credentials as professional media covering the games.

Gogola and Harris will receive their assignments from editors of the U.S. Olympic Committee website and USA Daily. The assignments will be determined by how the competition goes and where the stories are, Moran said.

Gogola and Harris will tweet their sports stories and blog posts using the Twitter feed @SportsCapJour.

-- Compiled by Rich Schneider, IUPUI

IU Bloomington senior taking part in Summer Olympics as volunteer photographer

Adam Kiefer, an IU student who will be a senior this fall,will have a front row seat at the Rio Olympics, but not because he’s an athlete.

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He’s going as a volunteer member of the press and operations photo team, and he’ll be working on the Olympic golf course.

Witnessing the 2016 Summer Olympics will fulfill a dream Kiefer’s had since the seventh grade.

“I’ve always been in love with the way the Olympics brings together the world for two weeks in a way unlike anything else,” Kiefer said. “After I spent my summer watching the London Summer Olympics, I knew one day I had to be a part of the Olympics in one form or another. I actually even wrote it on my ‘Life To-Do List’ that I started in seventh grade. I wrote, ‘Go to the Olympics,’ with a little star by it.”

Kiefer’s road to Rio has taken two years.

He started the long process of applying to be an Olympics volunteer in 2014. He took personality and language tests and underwent multiple interviews. Kiefer finally found out he’d have a chance to check the Olympics off his “Life To-Do List” when he received a letter of acceptance in December 2015.

Kiefer’s long road to Rio will allow him to not only fulfill a dream, but he’ll also get to take the next step in his education and professional development. 

As a journalism major with a focus in photojournalism, he’s looking forward to getting a glimpse of the world behind-the-scenes in press and communications and going beyond what textbooks have taught him.

“I hope to have the opportunity to see how real professionals work in the field and what being a professional photographer, something I aspire to be, really means,” he said.

Beyond living his dream, Kiefer is simply full of excitement about the experience he’ll have at the games.

“I’m excited to be a part of something larger than myself and to see how this experience will shape me and help me grow professionally and personally,” he said. “I am also excited for the people that I am going to have an opportunity to meet through my volunteer experience.”

-- Compiled by Mary Keck, marykeck@iu.edu

Former IU South Bend athletic trainer working at Summer Olympics

Luiz Felipe Giacomelli, who served as an athletic trainer for the IU South Bend men’s and women’s basketball teams in 2008 while pursuing a masters in health systems administration, will be at the Olympic Games this summer.

luiz giacomelli


He’ll work as a sports physical therapist at the Maracananzinho, the venue for the indoor volleyball games, as well as the health care clinic for Olympic athletes at the Centro de Educação Física Almirante Adalberto Nunes.

“It is a unique opportunity that I am living. Taking care of the world’s best athletes, and working along with leading sports medicine professionals, in which I can exchange experiences and learn a lot during the Olympics in Rio,” Giacomelli said.

He’s originally from Brazil, where his father was an owner and manager of a fitness center and physical therapy clinic. His upbringing contributed to his desire to pursue sports medicine. Giacomelli earned a bachelors in physical therapy from Faculdade Salesiana de Vitoria in Brazil, and began his career as the physiotherapist for the professional volleyball team of the State of Espirit Santo. He now serves a physical therapist for several professional sports teams, athletes and sporting events worldwide

He came to IU South Bend in 2008. Although he had to change plans due to his family circumstances and did not finish his degree at IU South Bend, he was involved in the Titans athletic program during his time on campus, working with the athletes on the basketball teams to prevent and rehabilitate injuries. He also worked in the International Student Office. He completed his masters at Federal University of Espirito Santo and earned a specialized in Sports Management at Claretiano University.

-- Compiled by Allison Smith, IU South Bend

IU East Red Wolves garner one gold, two silver medals at Olympics

Three Red Wolves received Summer 2016 Olympic medals in Rio de Janeiro over the weekend.

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Tennis star Venus Williams with IU East mascot Rufus the Red Wolf | PHOTO COURTESY OF IU EAST

Monica Puig won the first gold medal in any sport for Puerto Rico. Puig made Olympic history after she defeated Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 on Saturday, Aug. 13.

Puig, a communications studies major, is enrolled in IU East’s online degree completion program.

For Team USA, IU East alumna Venus Williams and current online student Rajeev Ram won the silver medal in mixed doubles tennis on Sunday, Aug. 14. For Williams, the silver was her fifth Olympic medal. For Ram, the medal was his first and received during his first Olympics.

Williams received her bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 2015. Ram, of Carmel, Ind., is the first ATP player to enroll in IU East’s online degree completion programs. He is a general studies major.

IU East has educational agreements with the Women’s Tennis Association, or WTA, and the ATP, the governing body for the men's professional tennis circuits. IU East’s online degree completion programs provide players the opportunity to continue to professionally train and play while completing their bachelor’s degree online.

Altogether, IU East had five current students competing in tennis at the Olympics. Also on Team USA, Sloane Stephens competed in women’s singles tennis. She is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in communications studies.

On the Australia team, sisters Anastasia Rodionova and Arina Rodionova were women’s tennis doubles partners. Both are pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

-- Compiled by Hali Cartee, IU East

Looking for more news about IU connections to the Summer Olympics in Rio?

Check out the IU Newsroom's latest multimedia project exploring IU Bloomington's storied swimming and diving program, and a feature story about Bloomington native and IU Athletics' senior assistant athletic director for enrollment services Jennifer Brinegar, who was just 15 when she swam for Team USA 40 years ago.

IU's Olympic participation aligns with several priorities in the university's Bicentennial Strategic Plan, including a commitment to student success and global engagement.

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