In light of the 2018 Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report that told us we have 12 (now 11) years to tackle the climate crisis, collective action is necessary now more than ever. This event is an attempt by UBC’s
Climate Hub to promote such action, through their support of the development of video that features athletes concerned about climate change telling their athletic ‘comeback stories’ – those moments where the impossible became possible in sport. This video analogizes these athletic comeback stories to the need for a “climate comeback” to overcome the crisis we are currently facing. The video concludes with a call to action for community members, with the aim to engage and empower.
The event will also feature a panel, consisting of two of the athletes in the video, figure skater Aspen Ono and Olympian swimmer Markus Thormeyer; as well as Grace Nosek, Ph.D Candidate in the Faculty of Law, and Student Director of the UBC Climate Hub; and Dr. Andrea Bundon, Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology, and expert in athlete activism particularly through digital platforms. The event will be moderated by UBC Wellbeing Director and expert on sport event impacts, Dr. Matt Dolf.
There will be free food and refreshments at the event from Tayybeh, a local spot started, owned, and operated by Syrian women chefs.
Visit the Eventbrite page to register (admission is free), and to learn more about the event!
Grace Nosek is Student Director of the UBC Climate Hub. Grace is also a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholar and a Killam doctoral scholar. She is getting her PhD in law at UBC, studying how to use law to protect climate change science from manufactured doubt. She holds a B.A. from Rice University, a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, and an LL.M from the University of British Columbia. Grace has written and published three novels in a hopeful climate fantasy series, the Ava of the Gaia trilogy. She also created and hosts Planet Potluck, a podcast exploring stories of hope, joy, and community in the climate movement. She’s never met a dance party she didn’t want to join.
Aspen Ono is a figure skater and graduate student at UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability. She spent most of her childhood training as an elite figure skater and still coaches young skaters part time. Ono graduated with high honors from Emory University in 2018 with majors in Environmental Science and International Studies and a focus on global environmental and climate justice. In 2017, she served as a Delegate at the United Nation Convention on Climate Change’s 23rd Conference of Parties, at which she focused on the nexus of human rights, migration and climate change. Ono is currently working on her graduate research examining the environmental values and needs of immigrant and refugee communities in Metro Vancouver.
Markus Thormeyer is a 2016 Canadian Olympian and current student athlete, studying environmental science at the University of British Columbia. He started swimming competitively in 2009 and made his international debut on the Canadian National Team with a silver medal at the 2015 Pan American Games. In 2018, his performance in the 100m backstroke at the Commonwealth games earned him the 2018 Swimming Canada Male Athlete of the Year, and 2018 Aquatics Canada Male Athlete of the Year. This past year in his swims during collegiate season he earned the 2019 UBC Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year award. Later in the summer he placed 8th at the 2019 FINA World Championships in the 200m backstroke, and 4th in the 4x100m mixed freestyle. He balances his swimming with academics, focusing on ecology and conservation while also completing a minor in applied plant and soil sciences. He satiates his curiosity and appreciation of nature through his academics, and from doing research in an ecology lab where he focuses on temporal patterns of species richness. Every day Markus continually works towards being the best conservationist he can be.
Dr. Andrea Bundon is an Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia and a member of the Centre for Sport and Sustainability. As a former varsity athlete and Thunderbird, Andrea is interested in the role that student athletes play in our campus communities. As a researcher, she has explored how athletes (specifically athletes with disabilities) use social media and other digital platforms to engage in to engage in activism and advocacy and the implications of their actions. Her research on athlete activism has been published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise, Disability and Society, the Journal of Sport and Social Issues and chapters in The Handbook of Paralympic Studies and the Handbook of Feminisms in Sport, Leisure and Physical Education.
Dr. Matt Dolf has long been a passionate researcher and advocate for sport as a vehicle for climate change action. He holds a Doctorate in the field of sport and sustainability from the UBC School of Kinesiology and has researched and published in the areas of sport management, environmental impact assessment, sustainability, and health promotion. His doctoral dissertation looked at how sport events can measure and improve their environmental impacts. Matt also has extensive experience working in the sport sector. In 2008 he was a lead author of the Sport & Sustainable Event Toolkit to help event organizers plan more sustainable events, a guidance document supported by the International Olympic Committee, Vancouver 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Games, and many International Sports bodies around the world. He was also formerly the Director for special initiatives and sustainability for the Vancouver 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games – where he created community-based opportunities for research, education, and engagement. In his current role, Matt provides strategic direction for UBC Wellbeing – a university-wide initiative promoting human and ecological wellbeing, aiming to make UBC a better place to live, work, play, and learn for all community members.