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Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014

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Ming Li outside the Asian Games Sport Information Centre where he worked during his stay

Photo courtesy of: Ming Li

Asian Games Canton Tower

Newly built Haixinsha Stadium with the Canton Tower in the background

Photo courtesy of: Ming Li

Guangzhou at night

Guangzhou at night during the Asian Games

Photo courtesy of: Ming Li

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Faculty member serves as consultant for Asian Games

Ming Li using the experience to educate students


Professor Ming Li recently traveled to his hometown of Guangzhou, China, to serve as a consultant for the 2010 Asian Games.

Li, who holds a doctorate in sports administration, has taught at Ohio University since 2002. He is the chair of the Department of Sports Administration in the College of Business and his research areas are the financial and economic aspects of sport, research methods in sport management and international sport management.

The Asian Games, organized by the Olympic Council of Asia, is held every four years in Asia and is the second-largest sporting event in the world behind only the Olympic Games. The Games were held Nov. 12-27, and featured 476 events in 42 sports, in which more than 9,700 athletes competed, according to the games' official website.

Li said he was first drawn to the 2010 Games because it was taking place in his hometown. When a friend invited Li to get involved, he didn't hesitate to take the opportunity.

"I'm from Guangzhou; it's my hometown, and I wanted to go back and do something for it," he said.

Li worked as a consultant in the games' Sports Information Center and was responsible for resolving conflicts in areas such as communication, transportation and venue. He described the center as somewhat of a "go-to place" for the participating teams.

"From the sport information standpoint, we have to ask questions like 'is the venue available (for a team's training)? Do we have enough transportation?’  In the first few days, there are a lot of these problems," Li said.

Although the chance to visit his hometown was enticing, Li's primary reason for attending was to further his experience in the field of international sport management.

"Sports management is a discipline where the faculty -- to know what they are talking about -- they have to have experience," Li said."Most importantly, I wanted to gain more experience so that I can share what I learn from the event with my students."

Li said he hopes his students will gain some understanding about the importance of cultural factors when preparing for an international sports event, learn to be open-minded and be willing to interact with people of different backgrounds.

"I would love to do it again if I have the opportunity," Li said when reflecting on his work as a consultant. "The more we (professors) do, the more we can share with the students."