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Media Tip Sheet: Bucknell’s Tokyo Olympics Tip Sheet

LEWISBURG, Pa. — These are Bucknell University experts and story ideas that may interest you in conjunction with your coverage of the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games and Paralympics.

TOKYO TURMOIL — There is no doubt that the Tokyo Olympics face daunting health, financial, logistical and political challenges, among others. The Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee have a huge stake in the success of the event according to Bucknell Professor Zhiqun Zhu, political science and international relations, an international media expert on East Asian politics. “If Japan can pull through, it will emerge as a proud nation with resolve and courage, which will serve as a shining example to the rest of the world still mired in the combat against COVID-19,” Zhu says. “If something goes wrong, it will be a devastating blow to the Suga administration and have a chilling impact on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.” CONTACT: Zhu, 570-577-2050,

ECONOMIC IMPACT — Japan is the third largest economy in the world, so even something as big and expensive as putting on the Olympics will not have a noticeable impact on their overall economy. So says Bucknell Professor Christopher Magee, economics, who teaches international economics. “The Games will just cost Japan $26 billion dollars or so, which amounts to a cost of about 0.5% of their Gross Domestic Product, which is over $5 trillion,” Magee says. “That could change, of course, if COVID makes a resurgence there as a result of hosting the games. If they have to reimpose controls to deal with COVID, there could be a larger impact.” CONTACT: Magee, 570-933-9610,

’RAY BUCKNELL — Bucknell will be well-represented at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, with two current students and a former head coach all participating. Incoming first year Boati Motau of the Bucknell women’s water polo team has been named to the South African women’s water polo Olympic team. Rising sophomore Rayven Sample of the Bison men’s track & field team has also been named to the United States Paralympic Track and Field team set to compete in Tokyo starting Tuesday, Aug. 24, earning his spot in the 400 after winning the T45 classification at the U.S. Paralympic Trials in Minneapolis last month. One of 15 ambulatory runners to qualify for Tokyo, the track and field/athletics portion of the 2020 Paralympic Games is scheduled to begin on Aug. 27. Additionally, Joey Lye, Bucknell’s head softball coach from 2018-20, will be competing for the Canadian Olympic softball team. Lye decided to step away as Bucknell head coach in order to pursue her opportunity to play in the Olympics for Team Canada. CONTACTS: Jon Terry, associate director of athletics, athletic communications, 570-577-3121,; Cole Cloonan, athletic communications assistant, 570-577-1227,


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