The Olympic Channel just premiered the second installment of their Five Rings Films series, The People’s Fighters, which is helmed by acclaimed director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) and produced by Mike Tollin (Varsity Blues, ESPN’s 30 or 30) and Frank Marshall (Jurassic World). In the film, interviews and archival footage help tell the story of a Cuban Olympic boxing program that has sustained success for 50 years.
Only the United States (114) has won more Olympic boxing medals than Cuba (73), which is impressive considering the current Cuban population is below 12 million people. It’s even more impressive when considering Cubans didn’t begin competing in Olympic boxing competitions until 1960, while the U.S. participated in boxing in nine Olympic Games prior to that.
Cuba’s boxing program quickly emerged as a powerhouse, with Teófilo Stevenson winning gold medals in the heavyweight division in the 1972, 1976, and 1980 games, one of only three men to accomplish such a feat. Since then, fellow Cuban heavyweight Felix Savon has joined him in that exclusive group, continuing the legacy of excellence in Cuban boxing.
The People’s Fighters is the second in a five-film series on the Olympic Channel that will take a deep-dive into a different story, moment, or movement in Olympic history. The Nagano Tapes, the first film in the Five Rings Films series, looks at the 1998 Czech Republic hockey team’s gold medal run in the first year of NHL players being allowed to participate in the Olympic Games.
The People’s Fighters is available online at OlympicChannel.com on May 31