Sunday, April 21, 2024
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‘On Thin Ice’ honors top minority athletes

Keli Price’s social-justice themed documentary features decorated Olympic athletes who have overcome discrimination.

On Thin Ice features Olympic athletes Allyson Felix, Evander Holyfield, Michael Sam, Robbie Rogers, Apolo Ohno, Aimee Mullins, and Greg Louganis. The film is being released through Freestyle Digital Media on February 2nd. The film highlights a handful of sport’s highest achievers and their collective fight for fairness, examining the parallels between playing the game on the field and making sociopolitical progress off the field, gaining acceptance of their race, religion, ability or sexual orientation.

The film also chronicles the life of filmmaker Keli Price’s great-grandfather Jack Brooks, who escaped the anti-Jewish pogroms in Eastern Europe in 1923 and went on to become one of the premier speed skaters of interwar America. He skated with the U.S. Olympic team, and traveled to Lake Placid in 1932 for the III Olympic Winter Games. But his dream was cut short. Singled out because of the religion he practiced and the place he called home, the “speedster from Poland” became a spectator on the sidelines.

Also featured prominently is Olympic diver, LGBT activist, and author Greg Louganis who won gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics, and is the only man and the second diver in Olympic history to sweep diving events in back-to-back Olympic Games. He has been called the greatest diver in history.

Six months before the 1988 Olympics, Louganis was diagnosed with HIV, and started antiretrovirals. When he hit his head on the diving board at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and some of his blood entered the pool, Louganis said he was “paralyzed with fear” that someone might catch the virus, but no-one did. He has also spoken out about being a rape survivor.

Louganis said: “On Thin Ice is a project that’s really important to me.”

“We are proud to partner with Freestyle Digital Media,” said filmmaker Keli Price. “My great-grandfather, Jack Brooks, and the brave athletes who followed him, will forever live on through this film. Every qualified individual should have the opportunity to compete at the highest level of their craft, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or country of origin. We are thrilled to help tell their stories.”


Merryn Johns

Merryn Johns is the Editor-in-Chief of Queer Forty. She is an award-winning journalist, as well as a broadcaster and public speaker. Originally from Sydney, Australia where she began her career in journalism in the 1990s, she is based in New York City where she became the editor-in-chief of Curve Magazine and wrote for a variety of publications including Vanity Fair, Vogue, Slate, and more. Follow on Twitter at @Merryn1

Merryn Johns has 140 posts and counting. See all posts by Merryn Johns

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