Andre De Grasse, Paul Biedermann, Sarah Hammer join our latest project

With the 2015 Pan Am Games underway in Toronto, we couldn’t think of a better time to announce the five world-class athletes we’re filming this summer. In fact, three of our five athletes are competing at Pan Am! 

What is The Equalizer?

The Equalizer is a special one-hour TV investigation exploring the impact of scientific advancements on personal bests in individual sports. The made-for-TV doc is a coproduction with Berlin Producers for broadcast on CBC, SRC Explora and ZDF Arte.

And now, here are our fabulous five athletes!

Andre De Grasse on the starting line
Andre lines up for our cameras at USC last month

Andre De Grasse – Men’s 100 m sprint

He’s Canada’s fastest man and the hope for renewed national glory in the 100 m sprint. Last month, Andre won the U.S. collegiate NCAA track and field finals in the men’s 100 m and 200 m. Two weeks ago he finished first in the 100 m at the Canadian Track and Field Championships with a time of 9.95 seconds. Next week (July 21-24), he will compete in the 100 m and 200 m at the Pan Am Games. In The Equalizer, Andre will see if he can “run a mile in another man’s shoes” and beat Jesse Owens’ Gold medal winning time of 10.3 seconds set almost 80 years ago at the Berlin Olympics.

Sarah Hammer  Women’s Track Cycling
Photo credit: USA Cycling

Sarah Hammer – Women’s Track Cycling

She’s a two-time U.S. Olympic silver medalist, 7-time World Champion, and the current World record holder in 3000 m track cycling. This month she is competing in two track cycling events at Pan Am. In our documentary we will pit Sarah Hammer against cycling legend Beryl Burton who won over 90 national titles for Great Britain and 7 world championships. Beryl was ahead of her time, racing when women’s cycling was not yet recognized as an Olympic sport.

Adam van Koeverden Men’s Kayak
Adam prepares to paddle for us at the Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre last month

Adam van Koeverden – Men’s Kayak

One of our star athletes is 4-time Olympic medallist Adam van Koeverden. At Pan Am (just yesterday!) he took home the bronze medal for Canada in the K-1 1000 m. Last month, we brought Adam to the Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre in Ontario – site of the Canoe/Kayak events of the Games – and asked him to paddle in both his own kayak and a restored kayak that legend Gert Fredriksson (“The Kayak King”) would have raced. Check out our day on the water with Adam on Kensington’s blog.


Paul Biedermann Men’s Freestyle Swimming
Photo credit: Getty Images

Paul Biedermann – Men’s Freestyle Swimming

The German swim star defeated Michael Phelps in a controversial win involving a high-tech (now-banned) bathing suit. Paul currently holds the world record in the men’s 200 m freestyle swim set in Rome, Italy in 2009. For the purpose of our exploration, Paul’s world record will be equalized against the world record of American swimmer Mark Spitz. “Mark the Shark” won seven Gold Medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, the highest percentage of available Olympic Golds by any athlete before or since. Spitz set new world records in all seven events in which he competed, a record that still stands. Mark’s record time was a full 10 percent slower than Paul’s record time, but at least some of the difference is likely down to what he was wearing (or not wearing).


Photo credit: Kerim Okten

Christina Obergföll – Women’s Javelin Throw

When a  javelin thrower nearly injured a bystander at a competition with an unexpectedly long throw, new rules decreed that the javelin’s centre of gravity must move forward, resulting in shorter distances and a discontinuity in the record books. At the 2007 European Cup, Christina set a European record with a javelin throw of 70 point 2 meters. We would like to equalize Christina’s personal best – 70 point 2 meters – with the world record set in 1986 by British javelin thrower Fatima Whitbread. Fatima’s distance was 77 point 44 meters — nearly 10 percent further than Christina’s throw.


Related posts

Adam van Koeverden readies for Pan Am, paddles for sports doc

What gives elite athletes the edge?

Want to stay on top of production news for The Equalizer? We’ll be posting updates and photos from our shoots this summer on this blog and Kensington’s social media channel. Follow @KensingtonTV on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!