While the opening ceremony is Friday night, the competition is already underway at the Tokyo Olympics and athletes’ families are cheering them on. With them is Kerith Burke, the only reporter at Universal Studios Orlando where NBC is throwing a watch party for family and friends of U.S. athletes competing in Tokyo.
From postgame interviews to a championship celebration, Burke has been covering the Warriors for NBC Sports Bay Area for the past four seasons.
“Just the overwhelming nature of stepping into this role and seeing a championship in my first season was incredible,” she said.
Along with reporting on some of the NBA's biggest stars, like Steph and KD, she’s also made history behind the mic.
Earlier this season, Burke was part of the first-ever all female radio broadcast of a Warriors game.
“Just being a part of history and of greatness just working alongside these women was a big honor,” she said.
For the next three weeks, Burke has the honor of covering her second Olympic games for NBC.
“I think it was a nice pivot. How do you get those shots that would ordinarily be of mom’s in the stands crying when spectators can’t be there? How do you celebrate the joy and emotions these families feel so why not put them up at a resort and have these watch parties?” she said.
Families of more than 300 athletes are expected to attend.
Because of the time difference, some will already know the outcome of their event before the watch parties. But Burke's goal is to showcase the family connection during an athlete’s journey to Tokyo.
“I think anytime is the right time for emotion and people love to relive their best moments so I think we’ll do a good job there,” she said.
The research and preparation is a lot different compared to covering women’s basketball at the Rio summer games or as the Warriors sideline reporter.
Now she has to know about every Olympic sport.
“I live for this stuff,” she said. “It feels really improvisational and exciting and I hope that freshness comes through.”