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David Whitson and Donald Macintosh

This paper examines the role that the pursuit of hallmark events and of major league sports franchises has played in the growth strategies of western Canadian cities. Literature on civic boosterism illustrates the vigorous competition that developed among regional elites to establish their own cities as perceived growth centers. These competitions are sharpened today by the contemporary mobility of capital, by media/information networks that focus unprecedented attention on “world-class” events, and by the growth of event-related tourism. The predictions of the benefits from investment in sports and tourism are typically optimistic, and gloss over significant differences of interest between local elites and others who are less likely to benefit.

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Srikant Vallabhajosula, Beverly L. Roberts and Chris J. Hass

Tai Chi intervention has been shown to be beneficial for balance improvement. The current study examined the effectiveness of Tai Chi to improve the dynamic postural control among older adults with mobility disability. Six sedentary older adults with mobility disability participated in a 16-week Tai Chi intervention consisting of one hour sessions three times a week. Dynamic postural control was assessed pre- and post intervention as participants initiated gait in four stepping conditions: forward; 45° medially, with the stepping leg crossing over the other leg; 45° and 90° laterally. The center of pressure (CoP) displacement, velocity, and its maximum separation distance from the center of mass in the anteroposterior, mediolateral, and resultant directions were analyzed. Results showed that in the postural phase, Tai Chi increased the CoP mediolateral excursions in the medial (13%) and forward (28%) conditions, and resultant CoP center of mass distance in the medial (9%) and forward (19%) conditions. In the locomotion phase, the CoP mediolateral displacement and velocity significantly increased after the Tai Chi intervention (both by > 100% in the two lateral conditions). These results suggest that through alteration in CoP movement characteristics, Tai Chi intervention might improve the dynamic postural control during gait initiation among older adults.

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Timothy S. Church, Thomas M. Gill, Anne B. Newman, Steven N. Blair, Conrad P. Earnest and Marco Pahor

Background:

The authors sought to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of maximal fitness testing in sedentary older individuals at risk for mobility disability.

Methods:

Maximal cycle-ergometer testing was performed at baseline and 6 and 12 months later in a subset of LIFE-P study participants at the Cooper Institute site. The mean age of the 20 participants (80% female) tested was 74.7 ± 3.4 years. The following criteria were used to determine whether participants achieved maximal effort: respiratory-exchange ratio (RER) ≥1.1, heart rate within 10 beats/min of the maximal level predicted by age, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) >17.

Results:

Participants’ mean peak VO2 was 12.1 (3.7) mL · kg–1 · min–1. At baseline testing, only 20% of participants attained an RER ≥1.10, only 35% achieved a peak heart rate within 10 beats of their age-predicted maximum, and 18% had an RPE of >17. Subsequent testing at 6 and 12 months produced similar results.

Conclusions:

In this pilot study of sedentary older persons at risk for mobility disability, very few participants were able to achieve maximal effort during graded cycle-ergometer testing.

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Taís L. Almeida, Neil B. Alexander, Linda V. Nyquist, Marcos L. Montagnini, Angela C.S. Santos, Giselle H.P. Rodrigues, Carlos E. Negrão, Ivani C. Trombetta and Mauricio Wajngarten

Few studies have evaluated the benefit of providing exercise to underprivileged older adults at risk for falls. Economically and educationally disadvantaged older adults with previous falls (mean age 79.06, SD = 4.55) were randomized to 4 mo of multimodal exercise provided as fully supervised center-based (FS, n = 45), minimally supervised home-based (MS, n = 42), or to nonexercise controls (C, n = 32). Comparing groups on the mean change in fall-relevant mobility task performance between baseline and 4 mo and compared with the change in C, both FS and MS had significantly greater reduction in timed up-and-go, F(2,73) = 5.82, p = .004, η2 p = .14, and increase in tandem-walk speed, F(2,73) = 7.71, p < .001 η2 p = .17. Change in performance did not statistically differ between FS and MS. In community-dwelling economically and educationally disadvantaged older adults with a history of falls, minimally supervised home-based and fully supervised center-based exercise programs may be equally effective in improving fall-relevant functional mobility.

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Laura S. Ho, Harriet G. Williams and Emily A.W. Hardwick

The study’s objective was to examine the health status, physical activity behaviors, and performance-based functional abilities of individuals classified as being at high or low risk for frailty and to determine which of these characteristics discriminates between the 2 groups. Participants were 78 community-dwelling individuals with an average age of 74 years; 37 were categorized as being at high risk and 42 at low risk for frailty. Logistic-regression analysis indicated that individuals classified as being at high risk for frailty were more likely to have visited the doctor more than 3 times in the past year, experienced a cardiac event, taken more than 4 medications a day, and participated in little or no physical activity. High-risk individuals were more likely to have poor balance, difficulty with mobility, decreased range of motion, poor unimanual dexterity, and difficulty performing activities of daily living than were those classified as being at low risk for frailty.

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David Fabianic

A salient feature of professional baseball is the absence of minority members serving in managerial positions. Traditionally, it has been argued that minority players did not occupy the playing positions from which managers were generally recruited, thus accounting for their lack of career mobility in baseball. However, examination of the distribution of minority players in major league baseball reveals that they generally appear in high interactor positions in proportion to their general percentage representation among all players. Although managers continue to be selected from high interactor positions, minority players are disregarded by ownership for managerial selection. This study generates an expected frequency of minority representation among managers, based on the positions from which managers are selected and the proportion of minority players occupying those positions.

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Sharon R. Guthrie and Shirley Castelnuovo

The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the ways women with physical disabilities shape their identities and manage (i.e., cope or come to terms with) their disabilities while living in an able-bodyist culture. Particular emphasis was placed on how these women, all of whom were participating in sport or exercise, used physical activity in the management process. In-depth interviews were conducted with 34 women who had physical mobility disabilities. Findings indicated three different approaches to managing disability via physical activity: (a) management by minimizing the significance of the body, (b) management by normalization of the body, and (c) management by optimizing mind-body functioning. They also indicated that having a disability does not preclude positive physical and global self-perceptions. The implications of these findings for sport and society are discussed.

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Pamela Fenning, Marianela Parraga, Vinita Bhojwani, Amie Meyer, Michael Molitor, Mary Malloy, Larry Labiak, Irene Taube and Father Joe Mulcrone

The purpose was to evaluate perceived sportsmanship behaviors and learning outcomes of a one-day integrated basketball clinic and tournament, titled the Sports for Mutual Admiration and Respect Among Teens (SMART) Games, cooperatively planned and implemented by over 17 agencies. Participants were 55 adolescents (28 without disabilities and 27 with hearing, cognitive/emotional, mobility, or visual disabilities), ages 14 to 18, M age = 15.5. Tournament play was in four divisions, one for each disability, with rules and skills modified accordingly. Quantitative and qualitative data collected afterwards revealed only one significant difference between genders and no significant differences between participants with and without disabilities on the other sportsmanship behaviors (competition, help with skill, equity, fair, effort). Except for ratings on perceived help with skills, sportsmanship ratings were relatively high, ranging from 3.07 to 3.56 on a 4-point scale. Perceived learning outcomes pertained to increased understanding of individual differences and sportsmanship.

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M. Monda, A. Goldberg, P. Smitham, M. Thornton and I. McCarthy

To study mobility in older populations it can be advantageous to use portable gait analysis systems, such as inertial measurement units (IMUs), which can be used in the community. To define a normal range, 136 active subjects were recruited with an age range of 18 to 97. Four IMUs were attached to the subjects, one on each thigh and shank. Subjects were asked to walk 10 m at their own self-selected speed. The ranges of motion of thigh, shank, and knee in both swing and stance phase were calculated, in addition to stride duration. Thigh, shank, and knee range of movement in swing and stance were significantly different only in the > 80 age group. Regressions of angle against age showed a cubic relationship. Stride duration showed a weak linear relationship with age, increasing by approximately 0.1% per year.

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Tan Zhang and Michael L. Silk

At present, and as China negotiates the instantiation of consumer capitalism, her urban spaces have experienced agonizing growth affecting housing, the internationalization of cities, interactions between government and developers, the development of rural land, migrant flows, and social stratification within the city. Focusing on Beijing, we locate the efforts to host major sporting events—especially the 1990 Asian Games and the 2008 Olympic Games—within the dynamics of the spatial reconfigurations in Beijing, a rapid reordering based on “capital space” (Harvey, 2001), gentrification, and the lifestyle practices of a burgeoning middle and upper class of Beijingers. In so doing, we offer a multidimensional account of the complex manner in which power, mobility, and transformation within a modernizing Beijing intersects with the discursive constitution of bodies, concluding with regard to new forms of social cleavages and inequalities that derive from embracing, however selectively, the logistics of the market in the framework set by the Chinese nation-state.