Newswise — Let the games begin. And let experts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison help with your coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London July 27 through Aug. 12. You can also track the progress of the school’s athletes at

Our experts can speak on a number of topics, including how our national mood improves when the U.S. athletes perform well, how social media will be used during these games and sports medicine and psychology.

-- Kris Olds, 608-262-5685, Olds, a professor of geography, can talk with reporters about the social, housing and urban impacts of the Olympics, as well as such large-scale events and the effect they have on the home city and country.

-- Jane Piliavin, 608-262-2921, Piliavin, a professor emerita, is an expert on the sociology of sports and can talk about how the collective national mood is lifted when U.S. teams perform well in the Olympics.

-- Jeffrey Anders, 608-262-2591, Anders, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry who works with University Health Services, is an expert in sports psychology. He can address such psychological issues faced by athletes as choking under pressure, underconfidence or overconfidence, anxiety, psychiatric problems, performance-enhancing substances and resilience to adversity.

-- Katy Culver, Culver, assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will be watching social media aspects of the games, including use of digital tools in addition to or instead of engaging with the games through broadcast television. She's also focused on tight branding restrictions, considered by some to be the most restrictive in Olympic history.

-- Dietram Scheufele, Scheufele is a John E. Ross Professor and director of graduate studies, life sciences communication. He can talk with reporters about the role of social networking during the Olympics. Scheufele is an expert on new information technologies, including blogs, social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) and other online communication.

-- Julie Allen, 608-316-7260, Allen, an assistant professor in the department of Scandinavian studies, will teach literature courses as part of the Study Abroad London trip for students in spring 2013. She has lived in London and has been an English history buff her entire life. Allen can speak about the city, its history, cultural offerings such as museums and historical sites as well and 18th and 19th century British literature. ###

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