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Andre De Grasse holding the Canadian flag

For Immediate Release:
January 27, 2016


World-class champions Andre De Grasse, Sarah Hammer, Adam van Koeverden,
Paul Biedermann and Christina Obergföll determine whether technology gives them an edge in this original Canadian/German co-production

To tweet this release:

Toronto, ON (January 27, 2016) – Every year, elite athletes go higher, faster, farther, setting new world records. Are today’s world record holders really better than the superstars of the past? Or do they get their edge from their high tech gear? What if the greatest high-performance athletes – present and past – could compete against each other on a level playing field? If competitive conditions were equalized, would today’s stars come out on top, or would they be beaten by heroes of the past? “The Equalizer”, a special one-hour investigation explores the impact of scientific advancements on personal bests in individual sports. The Canadian/German co-production premieres on THE NATURE OF THINGS with David Suzuki, Thursday, March 3 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT) on CBC-TV.

Adam van Koeverden on a kayak Andre De Grasse holding the Canadian flag


Click on link for “The Equalizer” Trailer

In “The Equalizer”, Steve Haake, a top sports scientist based in the UK, investigates. He travels to Canada, the US and Germany to meet five world-class athletes whose sport is impacted by the latest developments in technology: Canadian sprinter and Olympic hopeful Andre De Grasse, US Olympic silver medalist and seven-time world champion track cyclist Sarah Hammer, German world champion freestyle swimmer Paul Biedermann, German javelin thrower Christina Obergföll and Canadian kayaker and four-time Olympic medalist Adam van Koeverden.

For each of the athletes, Haake examines the variables that go into their winning performance – enhanced athletic gear, training, nutrition and psychology. Then, for the first time ever, Haake equalizes the playing field and challenges them to compete against a legendary athlete using equipment from a bygone era. Sprinter Andre De Grasse must attempt to beat the world record of the legendary Jesse Owens, a four-time gold medalist at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, while wearing replicas of Owens’ shoes and running on a 1930s-era track. Sarah Hammer rides a 1960s-era bike to compete against British champion Beryl Burton, a seven-time World Champion. Paul Biedermann eschews his full body suit to compete against nine-time Olympic Champion Mark Spitz in his 1970s-era Speedo. Javelin Thrower Christina Obergföll competes against 1980s world record holder Fatima Whitbread using a javelin from her era. And Canadian kayaker Adam van Koeverden trades his computer-designed carbon fibre kayak for a vintage wooden model to challenge 1940s-era Swedish legend, eight-time Olympic medalist Gert Fredriksson.

Each equalizing matchup has a surprising result. “The Equalizer” finds out how much modern science and technology factors in to achieve new peaks of human performance.

“The Equalizer” is co-produced by Kensington Communications (Canada) and Berlin Producers (Germany) for broadcast on CBC-TV’s THE NATURE OF THINGS (Canada), SRC (French Canada), Ici Explora (French Canada), ZDF (Germany), Arte (Germany/France) and other international broadcasters. Robert Lang is Executive Producer and Producer for Kensington Communications. Kristian Kaehler is Executive Producer for Berlin Producers. “The Equalizer” is directed by Rebecca Snow, written by Allen Booth and narrated by David Suzuki.




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The Nature of Things is one of the most successful series in the history of Canadian television. Hosted by the world-renowned geneticist and environmentalist, David Suzuki, the program is in its 55th season, a landmark by any standard. Every week, the influential program presents stories that are driven by a scientific understanding of the world. For more information, visit

About Kensington Communications
Founded in 1980 by independent documentary filmmaker Robert Lang, Kensington Communications Inc. has created over 200 productions. The Toronto-based company has earned a reputation for producing exceptional, award-winning television and cross-platform media for international markets. From high-profile television events to moving personal stories, from groundbreaking science to performing arts and innovative online experiences, their diverse productions share a commitment to imagination, intelligence and passion. Productions include Canadian Screen Award-winning TV series Museum Secrets, City Sonic, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, Gemini-Award-winning documentary Diamond Road, Raw Opium and other popular award-winning factual programs such as Exhibit A: Secrets of Forensic Science, 72 Hours: True Crime, The Sacred Balance with David Suzuki and many others. For more information, visit

About Berlin Producers
Berlin Producers is an umbrella company that represents five renowned documentary production houses from Germany and Austria in the international marketplace; they include fernseh|büro, Heidefilm, neue artfilm, Sounding Images and Wurzingerfilm. Berlin Producers handle the distribution and co-production for all projects, supplying broadcasters worldwide with high quality and engaging factual content. For more information, visit

About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. The Corporation is a leader in reaching Canadians on new platforms and delivers a comprehensive range of radio, television, internet, and satellite-based services. Deeply rooted in the regions, CBC/Radio-Canada is the only domestic broadcaster to offer diverse regional and cultural perspectives in English, French and eight aboriginal languages.

A space for us all is CBC/Radio-Canada’s new strategy to modernize the public broadcaster and ensure that it continues to fulfill its mandate for Canadians and for future generations. Through to 2020, it will increase its investment in prime time television programming, and continue to create radio programs of the highest quality, while promoting the development of digital and mobile platforms and content.

For more information including series synopses, press releases, hi-res images, video clips and bios, please visit the CBC Media Centre at

For more information, contact:
Nicola Makoway, CBC News & Current Affairs, 416-205-7673 or
Margaret Sirotich, Publicist, The Equalizer, 647-466-1746 or

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