“CITIZEN ATHLETE” WINS BEST ACTION SPORTS FILM AT THE 2023 MAMMOTH FILM FESTIVAL
The Riveting In-Depth Story That Follows the US Women's Bobsled team leading up to the 2022 Beijing Olympics
LOS ANGELES, CA (March 13, 2023) – Citizen Athlete, the newest and most captivating film by director Brandt Wille, had its first official debut at the 2023 Mammoth Film Festival. The film, which was helped financed by REIGN Total Body Fuel, tells the story of the US Women's Bobsled Team, following them on their amazing journey to the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Highlighted are the unsung struggles of these athletes as they train for a potential spot on the Olympic team, and the raw passion they all share in sacrificing whatever is necessary to make their dreams a reality.
Citizen Athlete primarily follows Kaillie Humphries, Aja Evans, and Elana Meyers Taylor as they train for the Games, accompanied by Sylvia Hoffman, Kaysha Love, and many more members of USA Bobsled/Skeleton's (USABS) staff and National Team. Humphries shares her emotional journey from Team Canada to Team USA, and the personal struggles and turmoil she faced in gaining US citizenship in time for the 2022 Olympics.
“Our goal was to make a film that transported the viewer into the world of an Olympic athlete,” said Director Brandt Wille. “We were all blown away by the sheer determination and grit of all the athletes featured in the film, and we wanted their stories to serve as inspiration for all the aspiring boys and girls that dream of representing their country at the Olympics someday.”
Also highlighted are Elana's struggles in juggling a growing family while competing, as well as Aja's battle to recover from a grueling injury right before Beijing. Citizen Athlete concludes at the end of the 2022 Games, where multiple history-making medals are won for Team USA by the film's leading characters.
The stars of Citizen Athlete all gave their initial thoughts after seeing the film debut:
Kaillie Humphries: “I am so thankful to the Reign team for helping make this happen! The film did an incredible job of highlighting everyone’s journeys in a positive, respectful way. You also get an understanding and feel for the sport of bobsled itself. I hope through this film, more awareness will come to the sport and all of the incredible athletes who keep its legacy alive.”
Aja Evans:“It was incredible to be part of Citizen Athlete! For me, it was amazing to be able to show the work and the journey that goes into making an Olympic team. On top of that, to be able to win an award for the film at Mammoth Film Festival just goes to prove that it was all worth it and I can’t wait to see what the future is for this film!”
Elana Meyers-Taylor:“It was incredible to see the film on the big screen! To see our stories shared at the Mammoth Film Festival to the world was such a humbling feeling- the production crew did such a great job with the film I can’t wait til everyone has the chance to see it. I hope people walk away and fall in love with bobsled as I did 16 years ago.”
Kaysha Love:"Citizen Athlete is a prime example of how a passion for excellence is a winning formula for success, in sports, life, or the film industry. It was a long road to the finish line, but in the end, the team's commitment to the challenge was rewarded with a big win at the festival. We're excited to share our stories with the world."
Sylvia Hoffman:“The film was simply amazing. The history, the dedication, the struggle, and the emotion is all there. Introducing my Olympic medal “Bronzy” to everyone made my heart melt. The production crew is elite and that is why they won Best Action Sports Feature after the premier! I can’t wait for the world to see it!!”
Aron McGuire:“USA Bobsled/Skeleton is grateful for REIGN’s support of the film, which has provided the opportunity for the women’s bobsled athletes to share their experiences,” said Aron McGuire, CEO, USA Bobsled/Skeleton. “Citizen Athlete tackles a wide range of powerful topics that are at the center of elite sports and it provides a behind-the-scenes perspective of what it takes to be the best in the world.”
The award is the first for directing and producing duo Brandt Wille and Ryan March. Be on the lookout for Citizen Athlete arriving in theaters soon!
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About USA Bobsled/Skeleton
USA Bobsled/Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com. Individuals interested in becoming bobsled or skeleton athletes can visit www.usabobsledskeleton.com.
For More Information Contact:
USABS Digital Media & Communications Manager
Sr Communications Manager