LOS ANGELES – When televising any sporting event, the ESPN production team will often bring in current and/or former athletes to be part of the reporting team – since they are the experts and can relate their experience and share their knowledge and expertise with the audience. ESPN’s coverage of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles is no different.
Special Olympics Global Messenger Dustin Plunkett started competing with Special Olympics in 1996. He reported as part of the team for the Opening Ceremony on July 25 and is providing reports for Special Olympics World Games LA 2015, ESPN’s nightly show. Paralympic gold medal swimmer Victoria Arlen, who participated in the 2012 London Paralympic Games and won a gold medal in the 100m Freestyle event in a new World Record time, is also reporting for Special Olympics World Games LA 2015.
What are you looking forward to the most about reporting from the Games?
Plunkett: I’m looking forward to reporting from the Games and being with ESPN talent like Kevin Negandhi and Lindsay Czarniak. I never thought in a million years I could be on the set reporting with them and calling the parade of athletes.
Arlen: I’m most looking forward to being able share athletes’ stories. I have been fortunate to have other people tell my story, and I’m excited to be able to do the same for other athletes. I’m excited to get out there, meet them and do them proud by telling their story.
What unique perspective can you bring to your reporting and how will your experience help you?
Plunkett: I can bring my knowledge and experience about the Special Olympics and the athletes competing. I get to tell their stories for them live, on-air.
Arlen: I hope to bring a different perspective to these games, and I think being in front of the camera and interviewed for so many years has allowed me to understand what’s going through an athlete’s mind. I hope to bring the perspective of the athlete. It’s one thing to see the gold medals and who has won, but to be able to tell the story and that there is much more than just the swimming or the running. I hope to show viewers the whole picture.
Learn more about Plunkett and Arlen in this video produced by Samantha Baron