Demonstrating the unifying power of sport, the 2019 Pyongyang Marathon, which took place on Sunday, April 7 in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (PRK), a pair of Winter Olympic athletes will be featured in a documentary scheduled to premiere worldwide this September on the Olympic Channel.
Currently filming in Pyongyang, the untitled documentary will be told through the journeys of Aimee Fuller, 27, from Great Britain, and Mirjam “Mimi” Jaeger, 36, from Switzerland, as they run the 2019 Pyongyang Marathon and experience the local sports culture during their trip to the intriguing country.
The Pyongyang Marathon, officially known as the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon, is held annually every April and is one of the largest sporting events on the PRK sporting calendar. Today’s modern rendition dates to the early 1980’s with foreign amateur runners joining in 2014. The event is certified as an International Associations of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Bronze Label Road Race.
Runners began Sunday’s race in front of a near capacity crowd at the 50,000 seat Kim Il Sung Stadium located in the city’s centre. The 42.195-kilometre course led participants by many of Pyongyang’s important landmarks including the Arch of Triumph and Kim Il Sung Square, along the Taedong River and through residential neighbourhoods.
Running in her first marathon, Fuller (Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018) finished with a modest time of 4:35:34.
“This was my first ever marathon and I discovered the power of sport in humanising the unknown,” said Fuller of her experience in Pyongyang.
Swiss freestyle skier Mirjam “Mimi” Jaeger (Sochi 2014), who is now a presenter and influencer, participated in the event’s 10K race.
“It was an amazing and unique experience. I smiled during the whole race, which I have never done before,” said Jaeger of her time in the country.
The Olympic Channel original production is supported by the National Olympic Committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea who has helped the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to give the film crew access to the country.
“Our biggest strength is the compassion of our Olympic athletes which enables us to open doors so that we can bring these powerful stories to worldwide audiences,” said Greg Groggel, director of original programming for the IOC’s global Olympic Channel. “This project is an extension of the efforts that the IOC put into motion in supporting the athletes from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in preparation for Olympic Games based on the belief that connecting people through sport has the power to change the world.”
In January 2018, the IOC paved the way for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to compete at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 resulting in an athlete delegation of 22 athletes who competed in three sports and five disciplines. PRK athletes joined the Republic of Korea (ROK) at the Opening Ceremony under the Korean Unification Flag. Conversations are on-going that would allow unified teams from PRK and ROK in certain sports and disciplines at the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Offering unparalleled access to Olympic sports and athletes all year round, the subscription-free Olympic Channel OTT service launched worldwide following the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Through comprehensive coverage, original programming, never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews, the Olympic Channel lets fans experience the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in 11 languages.
The Olympic Channel is a multi-platform global media destination where fans can keep up on the Olympic Games all year round. They offer original, news, live sports events and highlights.
The Olympic Channel also provides additional exposure for sports and athletes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in 11 languages. It was launched in August 2016 in support of the IOC’s goal, set out in Olympic Agenda 2020, of providing a new way to engage younger generations, fans and new audiences with the Olympic Movement. Partners that are supporting the Olympic Channel are: Worldwide TOP Partners Bridgestone, Toyota and Alibaba. The Olympic Channel is available worldwide at olympicchannel.com, its mobile apps and on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and the Roku platform.