Campus Life

UWF faculty member consulting for Beijing Olympics

University of West Florida faculty member Charlie Song, Health, Leisure and Exercise Science (HLES), is serving as a senior consultant for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Song works to help the Beijing government utilize the Olympics as a development and growth opportunity for the city of Beijing, even after the games end.

Song is bringing his experience to his HLES students. They are learning first-hand about his experience working with people around the world and the demanding challenges Song faces on a daily basis, balancing his work for the games and his work in the classroom.

Hired by the Beijing government in 2005, before he started working at UWF, Song completed an extensive interview process and was one of five people from around the world selected to serve as consultants, appointed out of 80 applicants. Based on his previous experience, which includes the Olympic Games in Atlanta working as the venue service manager and also serving the leaders of international delegations, Song also worked in San Francisco in 2002 during the bidding process for the 2012 Olympic Games. Song, who was also contacted to work the Olympic Games in Sydney, was one of the top picks to consult for the 2008 Beijing Games.

With vast opportunity for development and improvement, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games have been considered by the Chinese government to be one of the big stimulators for helping developing areas grow. The upcoming Olympics have resulted in major infrastructure changes in Beijing including 31 competition venues (19 that were built new) and renovations of 100 facilities throughout the entire city. Song’s responsibilities include providing consultation for how to utilize the facilities once the Games are over.

Responsible for the venue, Wukesong Coliseum that will host the basketball competition during the games, Song has acted on behalf of city government to develop a partnership with the American Entertainment Group (AEG), one of the largest entertainment and sports management groups in the world. Song worked for two years through negotiations which resulted in the joint venture agreement between AEG and Wukesong to manage the facility.

Song competed for China as a professional water polo athlete before college. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from the Beijing Sports University, his masters of science in kinesiology and doctoral degree in education specializing in sports management and minoring in business from Texas A&M.

For more information, contact Song at To find out more about the HLES program, visit

By Megan Tyson, University Marketing Communications