Meet the Pac: Sam Peszek

UCLA Athletics

The last time Sam Peszek stepped into Haas Pavilion, she was competing with the UCLA Bruins during the 2014 Pac-12 Gymnastics Championship.

This time around, she’ll be on a different side of the mat.

Peszek joined the Pac-12 Networks on-air talent roster as a women’s gymnastics analyst in December 2015, after her illustrious gymnastics career as a Bruin.

“I did gymnastics, but during the Olympics is when I really started to meet athletes who played other sports and be curious and hear their stories about how they trained and what their lives were like, Peszek said. “Athletes live this crazy lifestyle, and ever since then I wanted to share those stories. I love storytelling and combining all of my favorite things into one equals broadcasting.”

In the broadcasting world, Peszek commentated for USA Gymnastics live webcasts and hosted ‘Bruin Banter’ at UCLA during the year she tore her achilles. She was a communications major at UCLA, and has been passionate about sports her entire life.

Preparing for meets comes from a different perspective at this stage in her career. To begin her process, Peszek creates a cheat sheet looking at each team’s performance from the year before, in addition to finding out who they’ve gained or lost, what events they’re going to be changing, their scoring potential, and what their averages were the week prior.

Peszek will be calling her first UCLA gymnastics meet as an analyst on Monday, February 1 with the Bruins visiting California at 7 p.m. on Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Bay Area and Pac-12 Los Angeles.

“I competed with girls who are still competing, so I know exactly what’s going on through their heads. I think it will actually be cool for me to share what exactly goes on to prepare for a UCLA meet because I know what their breakouts are like, I know what the mindset is like, I know when they’re in trouble. A lot of people are wondering if I’m going to be biased toward UCLA, but I think I will be harder on them because I know what they’re capable of and their potential.”

While Peszek won’t be on the floor for the Bruins this time around, she has enjoyed learning her new craft.

“I think the highlight for me is even though I’m done with gymnastics, I’ve been able to stay involved. Hopefully I can do other sports in the future.”

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