RACING TO THE FINISH: U.S. and some foreign diplomats may be sitting out the upcoming Winter Games in Beijing, but millions of fans of the Olympics are counting down the days to the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 4.
With that sports-loving base in mind, Outdoor Interactive Inc. is launching an exclusive TV series on the two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin. The five-part installment isn’t just about her training on and off the slopes as she goes for gold again in the Winter Olympics — filmed over the past four months, it also examines Shiffrin’s personal struggles including the loss of her father Jeff, who died in February of this year. The docuseries also explores some of Shiffrin’s other personal relationships, mental health and other issues.
The series, “Mikaela Shiffrin: Passion & Purpose,” will be offered exclusively to subscribers initially via the streaming service Outside+. Adidas, one of the brands that sponsors the six-time world champion, stands to gain some exposure.
Directed and produced by Jalbert Productions, the first two episodes will be available on Dec. 21. To keep things suspenseful, the third and fourth episodes will be available Jan. 25 and Feb. 1. As a real cliffhanger, the finale will be rolled out after the Winter Games have wrapped up.
The full series will be offered free to the public through Outside TV for 30 days starting in February. Acknowledging how the past couple of years have been “nothing short of challenging,” and her gratitude for her alpine victories, Shiffrin said, “I want people to know that, off the mountain, I am a real human being, who goes through real hardships, just like anyone else.”
Highlighting the human side of exceptional athletes has become more popular in recent years. Serena Williams, for example, and HBO released “Being Serena” in 2016. And Williams’ and her sister Venus’ athletic journey is also chronicled in the new film “King Richard,” starring Will Smith. They also are executive producers of the film, which is in theaters and available on HBO Max. Another tennis standout, Naomi Osaka, launched a Netflix series in July. Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn also went the celluloid route with “Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season” on Amazon Prime.