Wilmington's Sam Gore set to broadcast Olympic Games - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Wilmington's Sam Gore set to broadcast Olympic Games

Wilmington’s Sam Gore who will be part of the broadcast team calling the action from Rio. (Source: WECT) Wilmington’s Sam Gore who will be part of the broadcast team calling the action from Rio. (Source: WECT)
Sam Gore goes over game notes during a UNCW basketball practice in 1999. Sam Gore goes over game notes during a UNCW basketball practice in 1999.
Sam Gore on set during the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. Sam Gore on set during the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.

The lifelong dreams of more than 500 American athletes will begin to come true as the 2016 Olympic Summer Games Opening Ceremony gets underway Friday night. The same will happen for Wilmington’s Sam Gore who will be part of the broadcast team calling the action from Rio.

“This is just huge for me," Gore said. "I didn’t want to tell NBC this, but I would probably do it for free.”

Don’t be fooled – to get to the Olympics, Gore paid his dues starting in Wilmington as the radio play-by-play announcer for UNCW basketball. That led to a role at ESPN where he’s primarily assigned to tennis, but that’s just the tip of it.

“I started doing Olympic sports pretty early at ESPN, that meant basically women’s volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, track and field, swimming and diving,” Gore explained.

That background has made him a valuable commodity for the Olympics and he’s drawn a marquee event – Gymnastics.

“I’m familiar with the sport, I’m used to doing it, but only for television not radio,” Gore said.

Yes, gymnastics on the radio.

“I’m still not doing straight play-by-play like I would in a basketball game or football game but I am describing perhaps more reactions from teammates," Gore added. "I’ll work in crowd reaction, what’s going on in the gym that you typically wouldn't see on television, things like that.”

Gore’s road to the Olympics has been a long one, but his introduction will be quick. After broadcasting tennis in Atlanta on Friday he’ll board a plane for Rio, and arrive just hours before his first assignment Saturday morning.

“I’m on the air at 2:30 that afternoon with the U.S. Men’s Gymnastics so it’s going to be a pretty whirlwind first day but I’ll be on adrenaline and so excited that, it’s probably the second day that I’ll really struggle," Gore said.

The decision to go to the games was an easy one, despite security and health concerns in and around the Rio area.

“For me personally, when I was first approached to do it the answer was yes, of course, when do you want me there," Gore said. "I have been around enough major sporting events that I feel during those sporting events it’s pretty much the safest place in the world to be at that moment.”

And when he sits in the Olympic broadcast chair some 14 hours away from Wilmington, Sam Gore will no doubt remember where his road to Rio began.

“I’ve pretty much continued to move forward and I credit UNC Wilmington and what I learned within that first job broadcasting as a reason for that," Gore said.

Click here to check out the WECT's Olympic headquarters for updates throughout the games and links to live streams of various events.

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