FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
COMCAST SPORTSNET CHRONICLES CHICAGO-AREA WINTER OLYMPIANS & OLYMPIC HOPEFULS IN NEW TWO-PART DOCUMENTARY: “QUEST FOR GOLD ‘14”
“Quest for Gold ’14: Olympic Hopefuls” to debut Christmas Night (Wed, December 25) at 7:00 PM CT
“Quest for Gold ’14: Aja Evans” to debut Wed, January 15 at 9:00 PM CT
Chicago, IL (December 18, 2013) – In advance of NBC Olympics’ upcoming unprecedented coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, will provide viewers with a pair of half-hour original documentary specials entitled Quest for Gold ’14.
With over 12 hours of original content garnered, this special two-part documentary chronicles several Chicago-area Olympians and Olympic hopefuls as CSN went behind-the-scenes throughout the 2013 calendar year to capture a first-hand look at the grueling training sessions, along with getting to know the “off ice” personalities of these exceptional local athletes. Quest for Gold ’14 was produced, written and edited by Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s Emmy-award winning tandem of Executive Producer of Original Content – Sarah Lauch, and Senior Producer of Original Content – Ryan McGuffey.
Premiering Christmas Night (Wednesday, December 25) at 7:00 PM CT exclusively on Comcast SportsNet, the first installment of Quest for Gold ‘14 will feature profile stories on a number local U.S. Olympians and Olympic hopefuls including:
- SHANI DAVIS (Event: Speed Skating – Hometown: Chicago, IL) – Entering his third Olympic Games, Davis has already earned four Olympic medals (two gold and two silver), which includes two World records. In 2006, Davis became the 1st African-American from any country, to win a gold medal in an individual sport at the Winter Olympic Games. He has won back-to-back gold medals in the 1000 meter, and will try to become the first athlete to ever win gold in the same event in three-straight Olympic Games. Davis has also earned 84 individual medals in World Cup competition, which ranks second all-time to legendary United States speed skater Dan Jansen. He is currently the world record holder in both the 1000 & 1500 meters.
- BRIAN HANSEN (Event: Speed Skating – Hometown: Glenview, IL) – As a youth, Hansen looked up to Shani Davis as someone who mastered the art of speed skating. Now, they are teammates. After an improbable Silver medal in Vancouver in the team pursuit, Hansen now expects to reach the medal stand in Sochi as an individual…all while competing ‘against’ his boyhood idol. Hansen earned gold medal honors at this year’s U.S. Championships in the 1500, and won his first World Cup gold medal in the 1000. Prior to missing the final two World Cup events to train solely for Sochi, Hansen was tied with Shani Davis for most World Cup medals, breaking his own personal best times in the 1000 and 1500.
- GRACIE GOLD (Event: Figure Skating – Hometown: Springfield, IL) – After placing 2nd in the World Junior Championships in 2012, Springfield native Gracie Gold is a favorite to earn a spot on the 2014 Olympic team in figures skating. After recently switching coaches, the 18-year-old moved to California — to train with a new coach…and she hopes to live up to her last name — at the Games. Earlier this year, she won the silver medal at the U.S. National’s and placed 6th overall at the World Championships – her best finish yet.
- EMERY LEHMAN (Event: Speed Skating – Hometown: Oak Park, IL) – A sophomore at Oak Park/River Forest H.S., Lehman spends hours a week traveling to Milwaukee to train at the Pettit National Ice Center, which are starting to pay off for this rising star in the world of speed skating. He’s been a U.S. Junior Champion, a short and long track national champion, and Lehman’s once distant hope of making the 2014 Olympic team is becoming a realistic dream. Lehman’s 2013 World Cup season has the young man just a successful Olympic trial away heading to Russia in February.
- ALEXA SCIMECA (Event: Pairs Skating – Hometown: Addison, IL) – After overcoming an illness that doctors said would leave her deaf and unable to ever skate again, Scimeca has overcome amazing odds and is one of the best pairs skaters in the World…but her path to Sochi is not going to be much easier…her partner Chris Knierim suffered a broken ankle a few months ago, while a foot injury sidelined her earlier this year. Now the couple is training intensely to make sure they are ready for Nationals…which is their gateway to the Olympics. Scimeca is this year’s U.S. National silver medalist, finishing 9th at the World Championships.
- KATIE EBERLING (Event: Bobsled – Hometown: Palos Hills, IL) – 25-year-old Eberling had to learn the sport of bobsledding from scratch….in a 400 pound sled that is twice the force of a space shuttle no less. However, this two-time world medalist is expected to make her first Olympic team as one of the sport’s premier brakeman. In her rookie season in 2011, she claimed the U.S. National Push Champion title, after a storied volleyball career at Western Michigan. She also pegs one of her inspirations as none other than the late Ron Santo – whom she calls “loyal” and “humble” – traits that have rubbed off on the lifelong Cubs fan.
(NOTE: Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Quest for Gold ’14: Olympic Hopefuls on the following dates/times: Fri, Jan 3 at 11:30pm – Sun, Jan 5 at 6pm – Tue, Jan 7 at 9:30pm – Wed, Jan 8 at 3pm – Thu, Jan 9 at 11:30am & Wed, Jan 15 at 9:30pm. Schedule subject to change.)
The second installment of Quest for Gold ’14 will debut on Wednesday, January 15 at 9:00 PM CT and will be focused entirely on Homewood, IL native and one of most promising Olympic medal hopefuls to ever come from the Chicago-area, bobsledder AJA EVANS. Sports run in the family for Evans as brother is Minnesota Vikings DT Fred Evans, her uncle is former Cubs standout Gary Matthews and her cousin is former MLB outfield Gary Matthews, Jr. Evans has made it her mission to make the U.S. Bobsled Team after a career in track and field, but she is already taking the bobsled world by storm. At a recent World Cup event in Park City, Utah, the United States swept the podium winning the top three spots, something the U.S. hadn’t done since 2001. Evans won gold and is the only bobsledder to compete in every World Cup event. Evans has big expectations for a sport she once knew very little about and she very well might be one of the biggest story lines in Sochi coming up this February. (NOTE: Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Quest for Gold ’14: Aja Evans on the following dates/times: Sun, Jan 19 at 4:30pm – Tue, Jan 21 at 9:30pm & Fri, Jan 31 at 9pm. Schedule subject to change.)
In addition, portions from both Quest for Gold ’14 documentaries will be made available for viewing on CSNChicago.com, following their respective on-air debuts on Comcast SportsNet.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago, a partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago Cubs (MLB), Chicago White Sox (MLB) and the NBC Sports Group, features over 275 live pro games in high definition each year. In addition, CSN delivers extensive pre/post-game coverage for its core pro team partners, as well as the Chicago Bears, along with Emmy Award-winning regional sports news and analysis via SportsNet Central and SportsTalk Live. Through the network’s growing digital platform, CSNChicago.com, Chicago sports fans tap into the most comprehensive and dedicated 24/7 online destination for breaking news, up-to-the-minute game previews/recaps, highlights, multimedia video clips, blogs and standout coverage from CSNChicago.com’s team of “Insiders.” Follow the network on Twitter via @CSNChicago.
NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, consist of 12 regional networks that deliver more than 2,400 live sporting events annually, along with award-winning breaking news, comprehensive analysis, digital content and original programming to more than 50 million homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Houston, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, The Comcast Network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, CSS and SNY. For more information, visit ComcastSportsNet.com. For more information about NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.