Alumna, student to share Sochi Olympics experiences

Cai O’Connell

Cai O’Connell at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Two Winter Olympic volunteers affiliated with the University of Illinois at Chicago will share their “behind-the-scenes” accounts, speak to the political atmosphere surrounding the games, and discuss how they turned volunteer opportunities into educational experiences during “Sports, Sexuality, and International Politics:  Sochi 2014,” an upcoming talk presented by UIC’s Global Learning Community program.


March 19


UIC Richard J. Daley Library
Room 1-470
801 S. Morgan St.


Brittany James, a 2013 UIC graduate in Russian, and Cai O’Connell, an Honors College junior majoring in Russian and political science, served as volunteers during the 2014 Olympic Games held in Sochi, Russia.

James was an intern with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, while O’Connell served as an intern for NBC Universal’s hospitality guide program.

Issues related to the environment, human rights and Russia’s law on gay “propaganda” will also be examined in the discussion moderated by Colleen McQuillen, associate professor of Slavic and Baltic languages and literatures, who teaches a course on protest and counterculture in post-Soviet Russia.

Admission is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested by Tuesday, Mar. 18. For more information or to RSVP, call (312) 355-0867 or email

Event co-sponsors are the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and its School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics.

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