The company founded by Gotham Chopra, Michael Strahan, and Tom Brady and the public media organization have teamed up on False Idol, a new narrative series about the athlete, who was once considered the greatest Paralympian of all time.
Hosted by sports reporter Tim Rohan, the seven-part podcast, which will premiere on August 26, will look at how six months after becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics, he was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The series will explore Pistorius’ rise and the tragic events that followed, in addition to complex issues like hero worship, gender-based violence, and race in post-Apartheid South Africa. False Idol tells the story through the eyes of the people Pistorius irrevocably changed, and brings needed attention to the life of Reeva Steenkamp.
It will feature interviews with Steenkamp’s cousin, Kim Martin; Andrea Johnson, who served as a prosecutor on the Pistorius case; and Trish Taylor, the mother of Samantha Taylor, Pistorius’ former girlfriend. The series will also feature interviews with experts and journalists including former Olympian Geraldine Pillay; Dr. Peter Weyand and Dr. Matthew Bundle, who have closely studied high-speed running performance and Pistorius’ alleged advantage on the track; BBC journalist and Paralympics broadcaster Clare Balding; former International Association of Athletics Federations press secretary Nick Davies; New York Times Magazine journalist Michael Sokolove; former CNN International sports anchor Graeme Joffe; and Sisonke Msimang, whose work focuses on race, gender, and democracy.
Kate McAuliffe, previously of the ABC News podcast Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein, is senior producer, Timothy Lou Ly, previously of The Moth, produces alongside Co-Executive Producer of Audio at Religion of Sports, Adam Schlossman.
It marks the latest collaboration between the two companies, who have previously partnered on Lost in Sports, covering sports biggest mysteries, and baseball steroid series Crushed.
“False Idol aims to deconstruct the idea of Pistorious as a hero while exploring how a tragedy like the death of Reeva Steenkamp could have happened,” said Rohan. “Thank you to all who spoke with us and shared their perspectives to help us tell this important story.”
“With each project, Religion of Sports continues to explore how sports can challenge the public to reassess preconceived notions on complex issues that can only be found beyond the field,” added Adam Schlossman. “False Idol serves as a profound example of the concentrated efforts of our production team.”
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