Q+A: Ryan Burr
by Michael Sones | @IFmsones
This is Part Three of a three-part series which focuses on the Sochi Olympic Games.
Ryan Burr is a host for NBC Sports and Golf Channel. His broadcasting experience runs the gamut — golf, basketball, baseball, football, auto racing, hockey and now, the Olympics.
I recently spoke with Ryan about his overall experience, favorite events from the Games, and aspirations to cover future Olympics.
First off, tell me about the overall experience.
Ryan Burr: It was an unbelievable task as far as researching is concerned, with the Olympics meaning so much to NBC. When they gave me the opportunity, I wanted to take it as far as I could, and do the best job possible. It was a big endeavor, especially jumping out of my comfort zone and trying something new. But since I was a little kid, the Olympic Games was something that I wanted to be a part of, so this was a real bucket list endeavor for me.
Which individual events or stories did you cover?
Burr: We anchored a show called Gold Zone at the NBC Sports headquarters in Connecticut. It was a take off of the very popular NFL RedZone channel. We were essentially jumping from event to event. Any time a medal was up for grabs, we would immediately take you to that event and split the box. Sometimes we had four different events on the screen at one time. It was a great opportunity for someone at home or work to kind of take in all the different sports at once and really not miss anything.
Did any events in particular stand out for you?
Burr: All the events were interesting in their own right. The luge and skeleton were wild just because the athletes were going at such high speeds. Something that I think could become very popular in the U.S. is curling. I know that in Manhattan and other places, it’s kind of replacing bowling as a Friday night social activity where people are going out and trying it. There’s a lot of strategy involved, and for me it turned out to be one of the more exciting events.
The 2016 Brazil games are right around the corner…
Burr: When you get a taste of the Olympics like I just did with the Sochi games, it becomes part of your blood and is something that you start to look forward to. I can’t wait to be a part of the next one and 100% think this will not be my last Olympics.