Oliver, in a sequined pantsuit, was camera-ready as people pulled out their cellphones when she accepted the Gracie Award for on-air talent-entertainment and sports at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. One is sports and the other was journalism. A day before the awards ceremony, Oliver sat in the lobby of the same hotel for an interview.
When did you first start running, and what inspired you to get into it? In seventh grade, there was a track meet. PE was my favorite class. I remember entering all these races. I ran the and the , the relay, and I won everything. I was just a total sports fanatic. I had a string there where I was completely undefeated, maybe had just lost a couple of relay races. But we moved a lot because my dad was in the military.
She returned to FAMU to deliver the commencement speech for the graduation class of Oliver came back to revisit the halls of J-school and speak to students about her journey. Students listened as Oliver shared her humble beginnings as a former student and as a current on-air reporter. I had to get it done because there was no alternative… That requires passion. She went on to say it was her fear of letting people down, that made her push to get what seemed like the impossible done. Oliver talked about how her belief in going above and beyond is what landed her the opportunity to become a sports anchor. Shortly after convincing her news director to let her report for sports she received a call from ESPN. As Oliver closed her speech, she explained the importance of knowing one's abilities as a journalist. Students said that they received a lot of valuable information and felt encouraged by her words.
For a young African American woman to succeed in the male-dominated field of sports journalism, it takes an exceptional blend of hard work, expertise, confidence, and tact. Throughout her rapidly advancing career, Pam Oliver has demonstrated all these qualities, earning the respect of athletes and fellow journalists alike. She has met the challenges of racism and sexism in her chosen field with calm professionalism, yet she has never hesitated to stand up for herself when challenged. For all her hard work, Oliver has earned national renown as a sports broadcaster. Oliver was born on March 10, , in Dallas, Texas. Her father, John Oliver, was a master sergeant in the U. Air Force and her mother, Mary Oliver, worked in the home, caring for young Pam and her two sisters.