We’ve seen some interesting extreme sports content from HBO recently, including the Sports Emmy-winning Momentum Generation documentary on surfing and a Real Sports “Risky Business” feature on extreme cameramen. Now, they’re diving into skiing, presenting a behind-the-scenes documentary this fall on Lindsey Vonn’s final season last year. The film will debut Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Here’s more from a release HBO sent out this week:
LINDSEY VONN: THE FINAL SEASON traces Vonn’s exhilarating story from her childhood in Minnesota, all the way to the World Championships in Are, Sweden this past February, for what proved to be the epilogue of her fabled career, as she earned bronze in her final event. Teton Gravity Research, widely recognized as one of the premier documentary production companies in the outdoor action, adventure, and exploration space, had a camera crew embedded with Vonn throughout the winter months, capturing the final, intimate moments of her skiing journey.
“Lindsey Vonn is a global icon of transformative force,” said Peter Nelson. “No skier, woman or man, has ever exerted her influence in sport and culture – ever transcended to her stature. There are a lot of athlete documentaries today, but this film, at once heartbreaking and inspiring, takes us places unseen with an elite athlete like Lindsey, revealing the sacrifice demanded of a champion confronting her human limits to end an unparalleled career.”
Lindsey Vonn says, “I am thrilled to partner with HBO to give viewers an inside look into my career and to share my story with the world.”
Directors Steve and Todd Jones said, “Working with Peter Nelson, Rick Bernstein and the HBO Sports team has been a longtime goal of Teton Gravity Research. This opportunity was made even more special by the cooperation and collaboration afforded to TGR by Lindsey and her team during what continued to become a complex and incredibly important year in her life and career. The unprecedented access that we were given absolutely has made this film what it is. During our time with Lindsey and the piece, this became something much larger than a chase for a record. The film reveals her sacrifices, her unrivalled commitment to success, and the personal highs and lows associated with her level of talent and drive.”
It’s interesting to see HBO picking up a film from Teton Gravity Research, as that latter company is a long-established presence in the extreme sports world. The Jones brothers founded the company in 1996, and they’ve made just a ton of films over the years, with the Deeper, Further, Higher trilogy (all starring the Jones’ younger brother Jeremy, an renowned big mountain snowboarder) particularly standing out. And it’s notable that they had a camera crew embedded with Vonn through what would prove to be her final season; that fits the recent growth in all-access projects, something HBO has been doing for a long while between Hard Knocks and the various 24/7 branches. We’ll see how this one turns out, but there’s certainly a good potential mix here of extreme sports credibility with Teton and wider appeal with Vonn.