Universal Sports will revisit some of the most compelling athletes, performances and stories from the 2010 Winter Olympics with the premiere of a two-hour primetime special Monday night.
The documentary film Visions of Vancouver will bow on the 61-million home service, a joint venture of NBCU and Leo Hindery's InterMedia Partners, at 9 p.m. (ET), with an encore set for 1 a.m. on May 25. The two-hour original production is narrated by Matt Lauer, host of NBC's Today show, and bows exactly 100 days after the Opening Ceremony in Vancouver.
The film was created by Universal Sports executive producer David Michaels and supervising producer and writer Daniel Fleschner, who had previously worked with Lauer on Today. Lou Angelo and Ryan Thiel served as editors, while Nick Gismondi and Jen Wojnar were associate producers. Check out a clip here.
The documentary showcases some of the prominent gold medalists to emerge from Vancouver, including alpine skiers Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller, snowboarder Shaun White, ladies figure skater Kim Yu-Na, and the Canadian men's hockey team. However, the movie is "not American-centric. There are more stories about international athletes than tales of American," said Michaels.
Despite the length of the film, Michaels said it was difficult narrowing down the subject matter because the creators wanted to tell more in-depth stories.
"With all the events at the Winter Olympics, it's difficult for the networks to air longer pieces. It's hard to devote six or seven or nine or 10 minutes to any specific stories from the Games," said Michaels. " Here, we wanted to come up with honest, visceral stories."
Although Visions Of Vancouver is not a chronological recap and doesn't have a threading narrative per se, the film is organized into vignettes and main segments. In its shorter components, the film examines Steve Holcomb, Petra Majdic, Simon Ammann, She Xue and Zhao Hongbo, Steve Kramer, Petter Northug, the Canadian women's curling team, Shani Davis, Speedy Peterson and Bil Demong, among others.
The longer main segments are framed and categorized under various headings "Pressure" -- Lindsey Vonn; "Inspiration" - Alexandre Bilodeau; "Competition" - Yevgeny Plushenko; "Transcendence" - Apolo Ohno; "Recklessness" - Chris Del Bosco; "Tragedy and Healing - Nodar Kumaritashvili and Joannie Rochette; "Elevation" - Shaun White; "Determination" - Aksel Lund Svindal; "Expectations" - Kim Yu-Na and Mao Asada; ‘Redemption" - Bode Miller; and "Winning" Canada's men hockey team.
"We were guided by looking to tell the most compelling, interesting stories," said Michaels, noting that the documentary's debut dovetails nicely with it being 100 days since the opening ceremonies in Vancouver. Assembling the Games footage, library and archival fare, as well as interview segments also were shaped by another deadline: NBC holds the rights to Games fare through Aug. 31