Ahead of this week’s start of the PyeongChang 2018 games, the Olympic Channel will debut its original documentary series, Far From Home, chronicling the stories behind some of the most unlikely athletes at the Winter Games. The six-episode doc debuts today on the channel’s digital platform worldwide. Shot over eight months and produced by Boardwalk Pictures (Chef’s Table), WZRD Media and Madica Productions, it traces a group of athletes facing financial, personal and cultural hurdles as they attempt to qualify. Check out a trailer above.
Each episode follows the incredible journey of an athlete who must balance their personal lives with grueling training regimens and competitions, including figure skater Julian Yee who will represent Malaysia at its first-ever Olympic Winter Games.
“Every athlete dreams of going to the Olympics, but coming from a tropical country into winter sports, I didn’t even think I would make it,” said Yee who trains inside of a busy shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. “Knowing that you, as one person, are able to bring a country together is a great feeling.”
“Far From Home highlights the incredible efforts and sacrifices that athletes are willing to make to achieve their dream of competing in an Olympic Winter Games,” said Mark Parkman, General Manager of the IOC’s global Olympic Channel. “No matter what country you’re from, the passionate stories behind these unlikely winter heroes who are bringing their PyeongChang experiences closer to their home countries, are sure to relate to all audiences.”
The series also features Shiva Keshavan, who is heading to his sixth Olympic Winter Games, and is the first Indian athlete to compete in luge event. Further highlighted are women’s ice hockey player Sojung Shin from Korea; alpine skier Forough Abbasi from Iran; cross country skier Victor Santos from Brazil; and the first women’s bobsleigh team of Carrie Russell and Jazmine Fenlator from Jamaica. The Jamaican national team having first risen to global fame in its 1988 debut appearance in Calgary, inspiring the 1993 Jon Turtletaub movie Cool Runnings.
The Olympic Channel also said today that it has entered a multi-year agreement with Snap Inc in support of its objective to engage new audiences and younger generations with the Olympic Movement. The deal provides Snap with Olympic Channel original programming for shows on Snapchat’s Discover page, and assets for creative tools. In addition, Snapchat will produce Our Stories featuring archival footage provided by the Olympic Channel team, in collaboration with Olympic rights-holding broadcasters, during PyeongChang 2018.