ESPN once again covers the Special Olympics World Games, this time in Berlin, Germany, beginning Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. ESPN will feature more than 220 hours of live-streaming competition coverage from 13 sports on ESPN+ and ESPN3. (See the complete broadcast schedule on ESPN Press Room).
Special Olympics athlete Daina Shilts has reported the USA or World Games for ESPN since 2018. The snowboarder reflects on her ESPN experiences throughout the years, how she prepares for her reporting role, and why fans should be tuning in to the largest inclusive sports event in the world.
What does it mean to you to be reporting on a passion project of yours?
It’s a dream come true. My ESPN family treats me like everyone else, which means the world to me, and I can’t wait for the World Games so I can share these athletes’ remarkable stories.
I enjoy reporting because I can relate to these athletes and share my perspective on it. Whether it’s before competition, winning a medal or simply just being nervous for the moment, I understand.
What’s your game day coverage preparation like?
I always get pumped up on game day and want to make sure I look my best for the camera with the right outfit – props to our makeup people! No go-to snack for me; I just make sure I do eat something.
Other than that, I’m pretty simple. I just make sure I’m prepared for whatever sport or sports I’m covering.
For those new to Special Olympics and/or the World Games and looking to learn more, can you explain why they should tune in?
They are going to see some of the best athletes representing their countries and learn that a disability won’t stop these competitors. Watching these spectacular athletes will provide fans with a different look on life and a new outlook for those who turn their disability into abilities!