Tokyo 2021 Olympics: The Rocky Road For Athletes

Postponed by a year. Plagued by existential rumors. The Tokyo Olympics have had a rocky road, thus far. But what’s it like for the athletes? This film looks at how Olympic hopefuls experience Olympic-sized uncertainties, under the already strained circumstances of a global pandemic.

Despite the rampant Coronavirus pandemic, the mythos of the Olympic Games is alive and well. The world’s top athletes dream of participating, though only a fraction of them will make it that far. This film accompanies four athletes over the course of a year, as they try to reach the Olympic Games in Tokyo. For fencer Alexandra Ndolo, high jumper Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch, javelin thrower Thomas Röhler and taekwondo master Madeline Folgmann, the time leading up to the Summer Games constitutes the greatest sporting challenge of their lives.

The postponement of the Games throws a wrench in their intensive training plans. It also forces them to confront some uncomfortable questions. What if all of this intensive preparation goes to waste? Are they working towards a moment in their lives that may never come? These four competitive athletes experience a year full of disruption, hardships, health risks, small successes, and big disappointments.

For one athlete, the pandemic even becomes a stroke of luck – but can she take advantage of it? The challenges that these elite athletes face striving for their dream of competing in the Olympic Games are unique. It is a time that will leave its mark on these athletes, as they embark on a journey with an uncertain outcome.

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