One Extraordinary Year lifts the lid on what an extra 12 months meant for 2020’s would-be stars.
For thousands of athletes worldwide, 2020 was meant to be their biggest year.
Then the global pandemic hit and the world stood still, and sport with it. Athletes who had trained tirelessly to perform on the world stage were locked down.
What transpired over the next 12 months was One Extraordinary Year, a feature-length documentary that recounts the setbacks and shifting parameters with the same goal a year on. Here is all you need to know:
– For some who had not made the cut due to injury, illness or poor form, it was a second chance. For others, the shift in dates had the opposite effect, meaning some were unable to be at peak fitness or form.
– As Argentinian sailor, Ceci Carranza puts it: “It was like running a marathon and, when you are about to finish, they suddenly tell you that you have another 20 kilometres to run.”
– Carranza, along with fellow gold medallist Santiago Lange, is one of the four key athlete stories told in One Extraordinary Year. They struggle to find harmony as, marooned in Europe far from family, Santi’s obsession with winning at all costs is at odds with Ceci’s desire to become a mother “and be more human”.
– For British-born American fencer Miles Chamley-Watson, the year is a second chance: “I can see myself on the podium,” he booms bombastically but battling ADHD, a serious knee injury, and a whirlwind of heady ideas, this goal can seem like a mirage to the hyper-energetic superstar of the foil.
– “Covid changed everything,” says British heptathlete Niamh Emerson, the third pillar of the story. In 2018, she tore a tendon which meant she couldn’t compete for the next two years. The extra year gives her a second chance at success. As she pushes herself “to be the best in the world”, she walks a tightrope between injury and exclusion and peak performance.
– In Norway, the world’s best volleyball pairing Christian Sørum and Anders Mol, aka The Volleyball ‘Vikings’, find themselves locked down at home facing the prospect of having their World Championship partnership torn apart by injury.
– And there are a host of star-studded cameos alongside that main quartet of stories, among them Mondo Duplantis, Carlin Isles, Will Claye, and Matteo Berrettini.
– Immerse yourself in these incredible stories, bound together by a chorus of interviews, selfie videos, and archival footage of a host of athletes aspiring to the very pinnacle of their sport.
– One Extraordinary Year delivers a raw view of their labors on and off the field, as they wait for the clouds of the global tempest to clear. “After a storm, we feel stronger,” muses Carranza. “I am optimistic for what comes ahead.”