ESPN To Highlight Athletes' Personal Stories In Coverage Of '15 Special Olympics
ESPN will air next summer's Special Olympics, and the network will focus more on "the personal story lines surrounding the inspirational athletes who have intellectual disabilities" than simply "charting the gold medal winners," according to Debbie Emery of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. ESPN President John Skipper said, "The story here is the transformative nature of what these people have overcome. It is about them becoming the best, most complete person that they can. That matters here more than with other competitions, so this (coverage) is a little different." ESPN has been "involved with the Special Olympics for 30 years, but this will be the first time they have 'covered the totality' of the Games." Skipper said that the "specific broadcast plan will evolve over the next year." But he added, "I am sure we’ll do lots of hours across mobile, on the Internet, in the magazine and on television, so I hope you see a ton of coverage." Competitions featured at the Special Olympics will include bocce ball, bowling, track and field, swimming, handball, cycling, equestrian, judo, gymnastics and basketball (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 7/18).