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NBC Sports Films Premieres Historic Berlin Olympics Documentary

Focus Features 02.11.2016
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Debuting Sunday, February 14th, More Than Gold follows Owens' journey during the Berlin Games, and explores the context and historical impact of the 1936 Olympics.

"More Than Gold will invite viewers inside the story of a pioneering athlete, who in the face of racial discrimination at home and the horrific theories and practices of Nazi Germany, performed at his best under immense pressure," said Mark Levy, Senior Vice President, Original Productions and Creative, NBC Sports Group. "Viewers will experience the Games through the compelling memories of Jesse's surviving Olympic teammates, who were eye-witnesses to those events."

Through interviews with former Olympic teammates, historians, and family members, More Than Gold highlights the magnitude of Owens' performance, and explores how his victories in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, and long jump in Berlin inspired generations who followed him.

More Than Gold features interviews with three members of the U.S. team who competed in the 1936 Olympics, Adolph Kiefer (Gold Medalist, 100-Meter Backstroke), Iris Cummings Critchell (200-Meter Breaststroke) and John Lysak (Doubles Canoe), as well as 1948 U.S. Olympic team member Herbert Douglas (Bronze Medalist, Long Jump).

Historians David Clay Large and Pellom McDaniels III spotlight Owens' continuing legacy and the historical context of the Games, in particular how Owens' victories disrupted Adolf Hitler's plan that the 1936 Games would validate the Nazi theory of Aryan racial superiority. The film also features Owens' daughters Beverly Owens Prather, Marlene Owens Rankin and Gloria Owens Hemphill.

Additionally, More Than Gold features archival footage from the 1936 Berlin Games, including restored elements from Olympia, the official film of the 1936 Olympics by German director Leni Riefenstahl.

"Those of us who followed the 1936 Games will always say that it was the foundation from which we sprung from. We had nothing else. We were not in baseball, basketball or football. We weren't in any other sport," said Douglas. "Those athletes on the 1936 team, it was a turning point for African Americans in sports."

"Jesse Owens was the hero of every member of the 1936 Olympic team," said Kiefer. "We all wanted him to win. We wanted him to win four medals. I'm just sorry it wasn't five. He's number one and always will be."

For a preview of More Than Gold, click here.

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