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American Cultural Center for Sport will open in China on March 20

On March 20 the University of Minnesota will celebrate the grand opening of a unique center that will share U.S. culture with the Chinese people through the medium of sport. The American Cultural Center for Sport is funded by a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State and will be a partnership between the University’s China Center and School of Kinesiology and the Tianjin University of Sport in Tianjin, China.

The main objective of the center is to demonstrate to the Chinese people how sport culture and values are integrated into the larger American society and how these cultural values influence American viewpoints, global outlook and engagement in everything from business and politics to arts and communication.

“Many concepts drawn from sport, such as ‘fair play’ and ‘pursuit of excellence,’ are infused in the values and beliefs of Americans, regardless of whether they participate in sports,” said Joan Brzezinski, executive director of the China Center. “This center will help the Chinese develop a deeper understanding of how sport culture impacts all of our interactions, whether person-to-person or country-to-country.”

The center will organize events and provide resources such as athletic exchanges and collaborations, guest lectures by university faculty and other experts, a reading room of print and online resources, and training for teachers to integrate the culture of sport into their curricula.

The new center will take advantage of the many resources of the University of Minnesota, including its highly ranked School of Kinesiology and its NCAA Division I athletics programs. The School of Kinesiology is ranked among the top 10 programs nationally, and its faculty have expertise in sport-related culture programs. The School’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport is dedicated to exploring the impact of sport, recreation and physical activity on the lives of girls and women. Dr. Li Li Ji, the school’s director, has experience bringing Chinese Olympic athletes to the United States to study sports management and U.S. culture.

“Sport is a tie between cultures without dispute. It served to open the doors for new relations between the United States and China in the ’70s and continues to serve as a strong connection between the two peoples,” said Ji. “The new center in Tianjin will be a window to showcase American sports and physical education to promote health, fitness, human development and social-culture integration in China.”

The University of Minnesota has a long and deep history of exchange with China. In fact, the University’s relationship with China practically began with an exchange of sport—the first three students from China enrolled in 1914 and excelled as star players on the soccer team. Today, the University hosts more than 1,400 students from China, and its faculty are working with Chinese researchers to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The University of Minnesota opened its first overseas office in Beijing, China, in 2009.

美国体育文化中心将在3月20日在中国开幕

3月20日,明尼苏达大学将庆祝美国体育文化中心的盛大开幕,这个特别的中心将以体育为载体,向中国人民展示美国的文化魅力。美国体育文化中心是由美国国务院资助$100,000美元成立的,该中心是明尼苏达大学中国中心,明尼苏达大学人体运动学系及中国天津体育学院的共同结晶。 此中心的主要目标在于向中国人展现体育文化和价值是如何融入美国社会的,以及这些文化价值观如何影响美国大众的观点、全球视野和美国人对于经济、政治、艺术和交流各方面的投入。

“不管是否亲身参与体育运动,许多源于体育的概念,例如‘公平竞争’和‘追求卓越’,都融入了美国人的价值观和信念当中。”明尼苏达大学中国中心执行主任琼•布热金斯基说,“这个中心将有助于中国人进一步了解体育文化是如何影响我们日常人与人之间和国家之间的交往的。” 这个中心将会举办一系列活动和提供丰富的资源,包括体育交流和合作机会、大学教授和专家的讲座、提供印刷资料和网上资料的阅读室,以及把体育文化融入课程教学的教师培训。

这个全新的中心将会充分利用明尼苏达大学的丰富资源,包括知名的人体运动学系和下属的全国大学生体育协会(NCAA) I类体育项目。明尼苏达大学的人体运动学系在全美排名前十,其教师都是体育文化项目的专家。该系下设的研究少女和妇女体育的Tucker中心致力研究运动、康乐和肢体运动对于少女和妇女生命的影响。在中国奥运运动员到美国学习体育管理和美国文化方面,系主任Li Li Ji博士有丰富经验。

“体育无疑是文化之间的纽带。早在70年代,体育就为美中两国新的关系打开了交流的大门;一直以来也紧紧联系着两国人民。”Ji博士说,“天津的这个体育文化中心将是展示美国人体运动教育的窗口,在中国宣传身体健康、优良体质、人类发展和社会文化融合的观念。”

明尼苏达大学和中国的交流源远流长。事实上,明大与中国的实际交往就始自于体育交流。早在1914年,就有三位中国学生加入明尼苏达大学的足球队并成为了优秀的球员。时至今日,已有1400多名中国学生就读于明尼苏达大学,明大的教师与中国的学者通力合作,共同探讨一些世界上最富挑战性的课题。2009年明尼苏达大学在北京开设了第一个海外办公室。