The American women’s pursuit squad anchored by Olympic veteran Sarah Hammer begins its quest for the gold medal when competition opens in the Rio Games velodrome on Thursday.
If you think that would be a good story, consider what the U.S. team did four years ago.
Or rather, what a documentary about it.
Officially released last week, “Personal Gold: An Underdog Story” tells the tale of the American women who won a surprising silver medal at the London Games. Hammer teamed with Lauren Tamayo, Dotsie Baush and Jennie Reed roared to the finals before losing to heavily favored Britain.
The film was directed by former Olympic kayaker Tamara Jenkins and produced by her husband, Sky Christopherson, an alternate on Olympic cycling teams in 1996 and 2000.
The documentary gives a behind-the-scene glimpse of their training in California, their team camps in Mallorca, Spain, and ultimately their competition in London. It premiered at the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival and was showcased in several other festivals before its wider release.
It is available on iTunes and Netflix, among other ways.
It will hardly be an upset if Hammer and the U.S. team of Chloe Dygert, Kelly Catlin, Ruth Winder and Jennifer Valente win gold this year. They set the world record in the event in March, and they are aboard new, high-tech bikes that are expected to make them even faster.
AP Photo/Tim Ireland
Once again, the British squad of Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott, Katie Archibald and Ciara Horne figures to be their to be their stiffest competition, though the Australian team previously held the world record and Canada should also be in the medal mix.