DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT – BRIAN T. BROWN
The commitment to this project by USA Swimming has been bold, and rare and deep. A superb team of dedicated professionals has resurrected a story that, 40 years ago, went hidden in plain sight, and which is as resonant as ever. I believe that the clarity this film offers about the history, the mechanics, the side effects, and the human cost and moral corruption of doping will be an education for everyone who sees it – even insiders. And though this is a cautionary tale, it is also a reminder that dragons can be beaten. Many of the central players – American and German ?? are people of enormous character, steadfast and shining; people who kept hope alive against what seemed like mountainous, ceaseless futility, being applied by forces overwhelming, sinister, and global. I have felt an intense obligation to try to mirror the remarkable honesty of our subjects with a film that befits their integrity. We should understand what was stolen from all of them. I hope, I trust, that we have honored their struggle by amplifying their truth.
Brian T. Brown has more than 25 years of experience as an award-winning television writer, director, show runner and executive producer. His work has appeared on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, PBS, TBS, ESPN, HBO, History, and Discovery Channel. As a Senior Producer, and with his work on the Olympics and Super Bowls, he has been attached to many of the most-watched shows in American TV history. Acknowledged with 15 Emmys, he has been attached to projects with Tom Brokaw, Bob Costas, Billy Crystal, Mary Carillo, James Earl Jones, Ryan Seacrest and Brian Williams. Brown was head writer for Discovery’s Skywire Live with Nik Wallenda – as the noted tightrope walker became the first to cross the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. Broadcast in more than 200 countries, topping out with a U.S. audience of 13 million, the event is the highest-rated live show in Discovery’s history. Brown also wrote and co-produced the Olympic documentaries Mercury of the Mountains (on the life of legendary Italian bobsledder Eugenio Monti, voiced by Ray Liotta), The Great Race (recounting the classic 1994 Lillehammer cross-country relay duel between Italy and Norway, voiced by Sam Waterston); and The Wonders of Rome (on five extraordinary Olympians from the 1960 Rome Games, including Muhammad Ali; it was narrated by Bob Costas).