ESPN’s Pan Am Games coverage features diverse talent lineup

With just 30 days until the start of the Pan American Games Toronto 2015 (July 10-26), ESPN and ESPN Deportes have unveiled their roster of experts assigned to cover the multinational event.

The breadth of the Pan American Games — 5,000 athletes competing in 36 sports and nearly 400 events — requires a versatile team with the background and experience to cover the many sports competitions, as well as the personal stories of the athletes and the countries they represent. ESPN and ESPN Deportes will bring together a diverse team of more than 45 experts to deliver more than 260 hours of coverage during the 17-day event.

Anchors Toni Collins and Max Bretos will serve as Pan Am Games hosts for the English-language coverage, complementing the windows of live events with the latest news and analysis. Collins will report from Toronto while Bretos will host studio coverage from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. headquarters.

“Storytelling is the biggest part of our coverage,” noted Bretos. “We will identify the athletes and events that are interesting. As a host, I also need to do the games and their history justice, and know the lay of the land of Toronto and all of the venues.”

Hearing the athletes in their native voices is massive for me. Things get lost in translation, and having a team who can hear them firsthand allows us to not miss a thing. – Max Bretos, co-host of Pan Am Games coverage

Bretos – the son of Cuban exiles – and Collins – whose family hails from Mexico – both have bi-cultural backgrounds, which make them uniquely qualified for their roles in ESPN’s coverage. The Games bring together many Latino cultures and their ability to translate these stories to viewers will make ESPN’s presentation even more compelling.

“Hearing the athletes in their native voices is massive for me,” said Bretos. “Things get lost in translation, and having a team who can hear them firsthand allows us to not miss a thing. We are Hispanic; however, there is a difference from an Argentine and a Dominican athlete. We should be able to identify the cultural differences.”

Collins, featured in the video above, also emphasized the diversity that makes these Games so special.

“I think having all these different countries in one city, and seeing all the diversity in one event, and that the melting pot is going to be in Toronto makes it all very exciting. And the passion and seeing how sports unite people. . . I am looking forward to it,” she said.

They will be joined by, among others, ESPN commentator Fernando Palomo, who was a member of El Salvador’s National Track and Field team and still the country’s record-holder in the javelin, and versatile sports reporter Bernardo Osuna; both will collaborate across networks.

ESPN Deportes’ coverage will be led by legendary Mexican sports journalist Jose Ramon Fernandez, who has covered the last nine Olympic Games and several Pan American Games alongside David Faitelson, who has covered the last five Summer Olympic Games. The complete talent lineup is available on ESPN MediaZone.

Video produced by Jonothon Halley McLeod

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