Posted May 13, 2009

Introducing Bryan Kim

Doctor of Philosophy: Kinesiology


Seoul, South Korea


M.S. in applied physiology and kinesiology and B.A. in psychology from the University of Florida

Area of study:

For his doctoral work, Kim has been studying ways to help older adults build their confidence to prevent them from falling. “My grandmother had a nasty fall, and after that, she wasn’t the same,” he said. “It’s a serious issue for many older adults, and I wanted to help stop that from happening.”

Exercise imagery:

Kim devised a system of two audio CDs to help older adults to build their confidence in standing and walking. In much of the same way that a psychiatrist tells a patient to visualize him or herself in a relaxed, happy place to ease anxiety, Kim’s CDs guide listeners from a comfortable, familiar setting — such as moving around the house — all the way up to more challenging situations, such as walking on an icy road.

Photo courtesy Bryan Kim

Bryan Kim (left) has competed in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.


Why you may have heard of him:

Kim has participated in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, swimming for South Korea.

On his hobby:

“When I started swimming, I didn’t like it that much. But I was 10 — no 10-year-old likes to go to practice every day! But I kept at it, and when my family lived in Singapore, I trained with a world class coach there, and began competing in several competitive meets nationally and internationally.”

Precious medals:

Long before he participated in the Olympics, Kim proved to be an accomplished athlete. He’d won several gold, silver and bronze medals at Korean National Games, the East Asian Games and the Asian Games.

On his current path:

Kim says he chose to go into sport and exercise psychology because he wanted to provide services to athletes that he never had: “My first time at the Olympics, I was extremely nervous. The mental game is just as important as the physical, and athletes are under an enormous amount of pressure.”

The Michael Sachs experience:

Kim says the main reason he decided to come to Temple to do his doctoral work was Michael Sachs, who directs the graduate program in kinesiology: “I felt a connection with him that I didn’t feel with anyone from other schools, and he takes great care of his students. He’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”