21 March 2012
Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou, Reader in Olympic Studies and the Social Analysis of Sport at Canterbury Christ Church University, has been awarded the prestigious title Scientist of the Year (2011-12).
Awarded by the Hellenic Association of Sport Management for academic excellence, the selection criteria included international standing and esteem in the area of Olympic research; record of significant publications and academic leadership in groups and networks in the UK and worldwide.
Dr Chatziefstathiou’s research covers the areas of international sport, globalisation and the Olympics, specifically looking into the economy of the modern Olympic movement as well as the politics underpinning the history and development of modern sport.
She said: “It is a great honour that such recognition comes from my home country Greece that inspired me in the first place to start researching the values underpinning the Olympic Games. Also, this award comes just before the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games which I hope will leave the lasting legacy that is so much desired.”
Last month Dr Chatziefstathiou was also invited by the French Embassy in Britain to give a speech on the future challenges of the Olympic Games, as part of their sports-themed cultural events in the run-up to London 2012.
At the inaugural conference Dr Chatziefstathiou debated with sports personalities and leaders of the Olympic movement on the issue of what remains of the Olympic spirit.
Dr Chatziefstathiou added: “The Olympic and Paralympic Games are the world’s largest sporting events, based on the philosophy of Baron Pierre de Coubertin that upholds the ethics of sports and sportsmanship. But we should not be disillusioned that there were no challenges or wrongdoings in the earlier Olympics. It is just that in our globalized times with sponsors, TV rights and betting the challenges are different and we should first acknowledge them in order to be able to manage them in the best possible way”.
The event at the French Embassy showed just how much people wish to hold onto and preserve the vision of an Olympic Games de Coubertin expressed centuries ago.
The event was attended by the President of the French Olympic Committee, Dennis Masseglia, British Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and the nephew of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, Antoine de Navacelle.
Dr Chatziefstathiou is also the inaugural winner of the Coubertin Prize (2008), awarded by the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee and the International Olympic Committee.
Dr Dikaia Chatziefstathiou
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
•We are the third highest university in England for student employability, with 94.3% of our recent UK graduates in employment or further study six months after graduating*.
•Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2010 UCAS).
•We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).
•2012 is the University’s Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.
*2009/10 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey