As the U.S. grapples with how to bring back professional sports amidst a pandemic, one nation serves as a model: South Korea, where the wildly popular Korean Baseball Organization returned earlier this month. Correspondent Jon Frankel interviews current and former KBO players and public health expert about the country’s remarkable turnaround and what it could mean for Major League Baseball and American sports in general.
HBO Sports’ groundbreaking 24/7 documentary-reality franchise, which has captured 18 Sports Emmy® Awards,
will turn its spotlight on professional surfing when 24/7: KELLY SLATER debuts TUESDAY, DEC. 3 (9:00 -10:00 p.m. ET/PT). The all-access, behind-the-scenes special will chronicle the most famous and prolific surfer of all time,
11-time world champion Kelly Slater, in the weeks leading up to the Billabong Pipe Masters in
December in Oahu, Hawaii, the last leg in the World Surf League’s (WSL) Championship Tour.
returns TUESDAY, NOV. 26 at a special time (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) exclusively on HBO
Excerpts from the Real Sports segment “Sidelined” HERE.
Emily Gervais of Weymouth Mass., is part of a trend -– kids pushing themselves harder and harder in the hyper competitive world of youth sports – picking a single sport at a very young age – then playing it hours a day, virtually every day of the year – until their body simply gives out.
Dr. Min Kocher at Boston Children’s hospital had seen so many kids just like Emily Gervais (a teenage soccer player now retired after twice tearing the ACL) that he wanted to find out if the same thing was happening in the rest of the country.
So he gathered data from hospitals all over the US … and what he found was remarkable. The number of ACL reconstruction on children and adolescents had spiked nearly five times in just a decade.
It’s all part of a trend Real Sports has been reporting on for the last three years … the professionalization of youth sports … a $19 billion dollar industry … fueled by kids and their parents pursuing athletic achievement at seemingly any cost.
Less well known are the physical costs as young people determined to keep up with the competition are picking a single sport at a very young age then playing it several hours a day, virtually every day of the year. Until their body simply gives out.
Dr. Nirav Pandya is a surgeon at the University of California/San Francisco. He says that the number of surgeries he does on child athletes has doubled in just the last five years… but he doesn’t sound happy about all the extra business.
The question is: What will it take to change an American youth sports system that produces so many sad outcomes – major injuries that impact and sideline so many young athletes?
Dr. Neeru Jayanthi at Emory University in Atlanta says that it’s time for parents and sports administrators to act. That this is a public health crisis. And that he’s got the numbers to prove it.
DR. NEERU JAYANTHI: “We have data that’s quite clear that you’re more than twice as likely not only to just get injured, but to get a serious overuse injury if you specialize in sports.”
HBO’s JON FRANKEL: “That seems to be a pretty clear and easy data point to explain to somebody. That if you let your kid specialize in one sport and play season after season, you’re more than twice as likely to get an overuse injury.”
DR. NEERU JAYANTHI : “Yes. Why do we wear seatbelts? Why do we stop smoking? We have data. We now have data on this.”
Dr. Jayanthi presented his research this month at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, stating that the sad truth is that elite-level youth sports is not something that improves your health today.
*Youth Sports Injuries. The professionalization of youth sports pushes more kids than ever before to train year-round in a single sport. And with that pressure has ignited an epidemic across the country – a spike in overuse injuries and orthopedic surgeries performed on children as young as eight. Correspondent Jon Frankel reports on the uptick, such as ACL tears and stress fractures, and how they are hampering children’s future health at an early age.
Producer: Nick Dolin.
At the ripe age of 10, Paul Basagoitia has been one of the top mountain bikers in the world. Fast forward a decade or so later, he became one of the first MTB athletes to complete a backflip on natural terrain. Nevertheless, on October 16, 2015, during a run at the Red Bull Rampage his bike slip during his set and caused him to tumble down the face of a mountain, resulting in a spinal cord injury. This intimate documentary exhibits his struggle to overcome one of the most serious injuries an athlete has to endure. Intercut with other patients and their stories, this motion picture is heartbreaking and delves deep into the mental psyche of those who experience such tragedy. Approximately 250,000 people per year injure their spines and only have a 5% chance of recovery. Mr. B’s personal journey is brutally honest and vulnerable. By far one of the best told stories of 2019. Be prepared to be torn between life and the inability to follow what makes you happy – your passion.
Any One Of Us debuts Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 9pm on HBO.
The feature-length presentation marks the first-ever partnership between HBO Sports and Red Bull Films, telling a story that begins on October 16, 2015, the date of Basagoitia’s traumatic injury, and unfolding in real time through raw, intimate footage — much filmed by Paul himself — of the agonies of an unpredictable journey and uncertain future. Directed by Fernando Villena, the film features a chorus of other diverse spinal cord injuries (SCI) survivors, shining a light on the struggles that Basagoitia and all SCI patients confront every day, and the hope that drives them.
The film debuts Tuesday, October 29th at 9PM on HBO.
Little has been reported on the large number of high school football players that have died from heat stroke. Since 1995, the easily treated condition has claimed nearly 50 lives nationwide. Soledad O’Brien probes the grave threat facing high school football players and examines why inexpensive, life-saving solutions to prevent these fatalities have been slow to be implemented.
Producer: Jake Rosenwasser
REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL returns TONIGHT!
TUESDAY, AUGUST 20 AT 11:00 P.M. ET/PT EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO
2 CHAINZ JOINS LEBRON JAMES & THE CAST OF HBO’s THE SHOP ON MARCH 1ST!
RAP OR GO TO THE LEAGUE A&R’D BY LEBRON JAMES OUT FRIDAY, MARCH 1ST
FOLLOW 2 CHAINZ
Flight Club. In mountainous Draper, Utah, just outside Salt Lake City, dozens of thrill-seekers take to the air daily to paraglide with colorful parachutes. As correspondent Jon Frankel discovers, these adventurers are defying the odds in breathtaking fashion. He meets Chris Santacroce, founder of Project Airtime, which is designed to get people with brain and spinal cord injuries out of their chairs and reaching new, previously unattainable, heights through an innovative paragliding program.
Producer: Beret Remak.
Check out the Flight Club video here!
HBO Sports takes a deep dive into the fascinating, constantly evolving world of surfing, exploring how a group of dedicated teenagers changed the sport and its culture in the 1990s, when MOMENTUM GENERATION debuts TUESDAY, DEC. 11 (10:00-11:45 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. The film will also be available on HBO On Demand, HBO NOW, HBO GO and partners’ streaming platforms.
From Emmy® and Peabody winners Jeff and Michael Zimbalist of All Rise Films, the HBO Sports presentation, in association with Priority Pictures and Sundance Productions, is executive produced by Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn of Sundance Productions alongside Karen Lauder and Greg Little of Priority Pictures. Justine Chiara, Lizzie Friedman, Tina Elmo and Colby Gottert produced.
In the 1960s, surfing in America was known primarily as a California- and Hawaii-based phenomenon associated with surf instrumentals and Beach Boys songs. In films, it was a vehicle to infuse all-American romantic comedies with action or zany antics. Although equipment and skills evolved, the public’s perception of surfing as a novelty sport remained constant until the 1990s, when a group of punk rock-loving teens, many from troubled homes and backgrounds, found its way to a house on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, in the process changing their lives and the sport itself.
In MOMENTUM GENERATION, the core members of that legendary crew – including Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian, Taylor Knox, Benji Weatherley, Kalani Robb, Ross Williams, Taylor Steele and Pat O’Connell – tell their story together for the first time. Filmmakers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist draw on unprecedented access to their inner circle, as well as to tens of thousands of hours of footage in private archives, to highlight the deep friendships that were formed and tested during the surfers’ careers as top athletes and cultural icons.
“We’re proud to be the home for MOMENTUM GENERATION, a film that is obviously about a group of surfers at the zenith of the sport, but more subtly about their lifelong friendships,” says Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “The Zimbalist brothers take us on an adrenaline-fueled journey spanning three decades, and the intimacy with which they reveal the ups and downs of some of surfing’s biggest stars makes this film unlike anything else of its kind.”
After relocating to Oahu, the young surfers courageously followed each other into Mother Nature’s most dangerous waves. When some of them didn’t make it back to shore, they found a way to mourn together – and adapt. Fueled by camaraderie and a deep-seated competitiveness, the tight-knit crew became known as the “Momentum Generation” after being featured in Taylor Steele’s groundbreaking films. Its members went on to win world titles, break records and redefine the world’s perception of the surfer, youth culture and what it means to be free.
Filmed over the course of two and a half years, the Momentum Generation surfers reflect on the complexity of the brotherhood and competition that have shaped their shared emotional journey, and made these pioneers both heroic and human.
The film made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York earlier this year where it won an Audience Award. It has also won top awards at the Aspen Film Festival, Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival, Honolulu Surf Film Festival, Surfalorus and the Los Angeles Film Awards.
MOMENTUM GENERATION is directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist; executive producers, Robert Redford, Laura Michalchyshyn, Karen Lauder and Greg Little; producers, Justine Chiara, Tina Elmo, Lizzie Friedman and Colby Gottert; written by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist. For HBO: executive producers, Bill Simmons, Peter Nelson and Rick Bernstein; supervising producer, Bentley Weiner.
Check out the trailer for MOMENTUM GENERATION here!