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Volume 64, Issue 1

January 22, 2010

UCCS has ties to Winter Olympics

Watching the competitions on TV and cheering for a favorite athlete is the closest most people get to the Olympic games. Nanna Meyer, assistant professor, Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences, isn't most people.

Meyer will oversee menu planning and meal preparation for the Men’s and Women’s Short and Long Track US Speed Skating Team at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games this year. With the assistance of two graduate students, Meyer will work at Safe Houses outside the Olympic Village providing a vital service. In addition, she is sharing her expertise to make the Olympic dining experience a campus event.

Having just returned from Zurich, where she addressed the Fourth Annual Conference of Applied Sport Nutrition, Meyer discussed her role and connection to the Olympics. She noted that Australia and the United Kingdom are among the leading nations in sports nutrition while the United States is not. But while national awareness and concern about what Americans eat is comparatively lacking, Meyer said she hopes to show the importance of proper nutrition through her efforts.

Meyer is the director of the UCCS master of science in sport nutrition, with over a decade of experience as an Olympic consultant. She initially became involved with meal service at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games, served as the U.S. Speed Skating Team’s sports dietitian since 1999, and participated in Salt Lake City in 2002 and Torino in 2006. This year, Meyer and sports nutrition graduate students Kelly Ping and Jane Taggart have the opportunity to impact the athletes' chances for success through the meals and snacks they provide.

Meyer explained the need for the Safe Houses, where athletes, coaches and selected staff are the only individuals allowed. The houses, located away from the Olympic Village, provide a haven away from family, media attention, and other pressures the athletes face. While proper fueling of their bodies is critical, she noted, a short bit of relief from the accompanying stress is vital as well.

In keeping UCCS involved, on-campus events with an Olympic tie are being featured in the Lodge and elsewhere. The Jan. 20 welcome back dinner kicked off the new semester with samples of the same foods the athletes consume. Meyer and her students will discuss "Food for Olympians" at 6 p.m. Jan. 25 in the University Theater, showing how nutritional needs differ between active and not-so-active lifestyles, and serving homemade wholegrain treats.

During the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, from Feb. 12-27, a big screen TV in the Lodge will feature the international broadcast, while Olympic-style cuisine will be offered daily in the cafeteria, along with the usual fare. The sports nutrition graduate students will also oversee an Olympic blog with a live feed from Vancouver.

Meyer said she is excited to be involved with the Speed Skating Team and to have the opportunity to show UCCS students nutrition at the Olympic standard. For further information, she may be contacted at or 255-3760.

Communique is the online newsletter for UCCS faculty and staff. It is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters, monthly during the summer semester. Communique is sent to faculty and staff e-mail lists and, by request, to other e-mail addresses. Previous issues are available in the Communique Archives at, and the current issue is always at Suggestions and comments are welcome. Send ideas to or call Tom Hutton, 255-3439.

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