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Stanford Report, April 28, 1999

Athletics, medicine, humanities focus of 'Limits of Performance' symposium

Stanford, May 7 -- Author George Plimpton, Congressman Jim Ryun, Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug and former San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh will be among the panelists at a two-day symposium beginning Friday evening at Arrillaga Family Sports Center.

The "Limits of Performance" will be the focus of the Humanities, Medicine and Athletics symposium sponsored by the Presidential Lectures and Symposia in the Humanities and Arts.

The event, which will feature invited speakers and Stanford faculty, is free and open to the public

Related Information:

Panelists will discuss how performance is applied in various academic disciplines, medicine and athletics. Questions that will be addressed include the following:

The schedule for the symposium follows:

Friday, May 7, 7 to 10:30 p.m.: Moderator Brian Hoffman, professor of medicine at Stanford University and a former Canadian hockey player, will explore the "Concept of Performance" with six panelists: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, professor of human development and education in the department of psychology at the University of Chicago; George Plimpton, founding editor of The Paris Review and occasional player of professional baseball, football and hockey; Congressman Jim Ryun, a silver medalist in track at the 1968 Olympics; Norman Shumway, professor emeritus of cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford and a pioneer in the development of cardiac transplantation; Bobby Clark, head coach of soccer at Stanford; and Kerri Strug, bronze medalist in gymnastics at the 1992 Olympics.

Saturday, May 8, 9 a.m. to noon: Moderator Rick Schavone, men's and women's diving coach at Stanford, will explore "Acts of Performance" with five panelists: Laurence Dreyfus, music scholar and performer; Franz Grehn, chair of the department of ophthalmology at the University Hospital at Würzburg, Germany; Martin Seel, professor of philosophy at the University of Giessen, Germany; Troy Walters, wide receiver on the Stanford football team; and possibly Debi Thomas, bronze medalist in figure skating at the 1988 Olympics.

Saturday, May 8, 2 to 6 p.m.: Moderator Hans Ulricht Gumbrecht, professor of comparative literature at Stanford and director of the Presidential Lectures, will explore the "Conditions of Performance" with eight panelists: Herbert Blau, theater director and playwright and professor of English and modern studies at the University of Wisconsin; Harry Edwards, professor of sociology at the University of California-Berkeley and a specialist in sports sociology; Tim Noakes, chair of exercise and sports science in the department of physiology at the University of Cape Town; George Poste, chief science and technology officer at SmithKline Beecham; Ted Leland, director of Stanford athletics; Mike Montgomery, head coach of men's basketball at Stanford; Erin Sones, member of the Stanford diving team; and Bill Walsh, former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

For more information, visit the website at or call (650) 723-7532. SR