TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 22, 2022) – The documentary special highlighting the historic 2022 VinFast IRONMAN® World Championship triathlon will premiere on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2 – 3:30 p.m. EST on NBC. The IRONMAN World Championship special will chronicle triathlon’s pinnacle event, which returned to the Kailua-Kona and the Island of Hawai`i for the first time in three years due to the pandemic.
The documentary special also showcases the iconic endurance event’s change to a two-day format for the first time in history, providing for focused female and male racing and allowing more opportunities for inspiring stories to be told of both professional and age-group athletes competing in the prestigious triathlon that took place this past Oct. 6 and 8, 2022. The documentary special will also be made available globally on the IRONMAN YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/ironmantriathlon following its airing on NBC.
Since its inception in 1978, the IRONMAN World Championship triathlon has demonstrated not only the unrivaled physical ability and enduring drive of the top endurance athletes in the world, but also some of the most inspirational and impactful stories of perseverance and resilience from the age-group athletes and everyday individuals who compete alongside them.
Among the feature stories for the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship special are:
Just 18 months after giving birth to her daughter, professional triathlete Chelsea Sodaro aims to become the first American woman to win the IRONMAN World Championship in over 25 years.
Two young Norwegians at the top of the sport, Olympic Gold Medalist and reigning IRONMAN World Champion Kristian Blummenfelt and IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Gustav Iden, go head-to-head for World Championship supremacy in their debut appearances in Hawai`i.
Veteran professional Tim O’Donnell returns to the pinnacle of competition only 15 months after suffering a heart attack
Chris Nikic a 22-year-old who made history by becoming the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full-distance IRONMAN triathlon in November of 2020, looks to spread his message to others to be 1% better every single day in every aspect of life. Chris along with his guide, fellow triathlete and friend Dan Grieb, undertake his next big challenge in finish the iconic IRONMAN World Championship race in Kona.
After numerous appearances and 13 age group titles over the years, Cherie Gruenfeld looks to go out on top as the oldest female athlete to ever finish the IRONMAN World Championship, proving age is truly just a number.
Seriously injured in the 2016 Brussels Bombing, former professional Belgian National Team basketball player Sebastien Bellin, shares his journey from victim to survivor, overcoming his new physical ailments by finishing triathlon’s biggest test.
“Super” Sam Holness continues making his mark as the world’s first openly autistic endurance athlete to take on the iconic IRONMAN World Championship just a month after becoming the first person with autism to complete a full-distance triathlon at Mainova IRONMAN European Championship Frankfurt.
Australian Paralympic triathlon silver-medalist Lauren Parker competes in her third World Championship event in just over a year, and returns to Hawai`i to compete in the IRONMAN World Championship for the first time since suffering a bike crash that paralyzed her at the peak of her career.
Mother and daughter special team Beth & Liza James, aka Team Liza, who 16 years ago were in a severe car accident that left Liza with a traumatic brain injury, return to Kona in their quest to make IRONMAN history by becoming the first mother-daughter special team duo to complete the iconic IRONMAN World Championship triathlon.
The 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship Documentary was filmed utilizing nine handheld cameras and two underwater cameras. Providing the aerial coverage were five drones, two helicopters and the Qatar Airways FlyCam. All of the nearly 20 cameras captured the magic of the VinFast IRONMAN World Championship triathlon providing viewers with a front row seat to triathlon’s pinnacle event. The 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship Documentary was filmed and produced by The IRONMAN Group Production team.
Since the first IRONMAN World Championship documentary special in 1991, the show has earned 68 Sports Emmy nominations and 16 Sports Emmy Award wins.
About the IRONMAN World Championship
Since its inception in 1978 on the Island of O`ahu, the IRONMAN World Championship has etched its name in history through stellar performances, inspirational participants and emotional memories. In 1981, the race moved from the tranquil shores of Waikīkī to the barren lava fields of Kona on the Island of Hawai`i where it continues to take place to this day. The most iconic one-day sporting event in the world is the culmination of 40 global IRONMAN events with over 94,000 athletes around the world striving for one of the coveted qualifying slots. The 2021 edition of the event took place in St. George, Utah in May 2022, becoming the first location to host the event outside of Hawai`i since its origins in 1978. After a two-year hiatus from Hawai`i due to COVID, the race returns to Kona and takes place for the first time as a two-day event in October for the 2022 edition of the VinFast IRONMAN World Championship. The 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship will see the event continue with the two-day format but with a dedicated race day for women and dedicated race day for men. With two days of racing, the event will host approximately 5,000 athletes as they embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind, and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN World Champion. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/im-world-championship.
About The IRONMAN Group
The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing (VR) Series, 5150 Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and City2Surf®, UTMB® World Series events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia, Epic Series mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Catering to the full athlete experience, the company portfolio also includes FulGaz® virtual cycling, the most realistic indoor riding experience connected fitness application aimed at preparing athletes for real-world events. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.
Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Warner Bros. Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.