98 episodes

30 For 30 Podcasts

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Jul 14, 2020

HEAVY MEDALS Part 7: The Unraveling

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Martha has turned the U.S. women’s gymnastics program into a world powerhouse. But as Martha is taking her final victory lap at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the gymnastics community is rocked by a scandal that will shock the world. The Karolyis’ legacy is called into question as the gymnasts grapple with the cost of what it took to earn all that gold.
If you or someone you know has been subjected to sexual assault or abuse, and you would like more information or support, these hotlines can help: RAINN’s 24/7 confidential national sexual assault hotline: 1-800-656-4673, or ChildHelp: 1-800-4-A-Child.

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Jul 14, 2020

HEAVY MEDALS Part 6: The Rise of Martha

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For years, Martha Karolyi avoided the spotlight — appearing only as the mysterious and subservient partner of her boisterous husband. But when she is tapped to take over the national team, Martha finally comes into full view. Martha aims to prove that she can turn the United States into a dominant force in gymnastics, building teams that win gold medal after gold medal. But under Martha’s regime, injured athletes are often discarded and a culture of silence prevails.
If you or someone you know has been subjected to sexual assault or abuse, and you would like more information or support, these hotlines can help: RAINN’s 24/7 confidential national sexual assault hotline: 1-800-656-4673, or ChildHelp: 1-800-4-A-Child.

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Jul 14, 2020

HEAVY MEDALS Part 5: The Karolyi Way

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After the glory of winning gold in Atlanta, the U.S. National Team slips on the world stage, finishing last in the finals at the 1999 World Championships. With the next Olympics less than a year away, USA Gymnastics turns to the one person they think can save the team: Bela Karolyi. Bela finally has what he’s always wanted, control over a semi-centralized training system in the United States. But on such a tight schedule, will the, “You can do it!” motivator-in-chief be able to lead a team to victory?
If you or someone you know has been subjected to sexual assault or abuse, and you would like more information or support, these hotlines can help: RAINN’s 24/7 confidential national sexual assault hotline: 1-800-656-4673, or ChildHelp: 1-800-4-A-Child.

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Jul 14, 2020

HEAVY MEDALS Part 4: Home Games

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Pulled back onto the world gymnastics stage by the precocious talent of their newest protege, Dominique Moceanu, Bela and Martha are all in on winning gold at the Atlanta Games. But when Dominique falls on vault, everything rides on the shoulders of Bela’s long-overshadowed veteran, Kerri Strug, to bring home the gold.
If you or someone you know has been subjected to sexual assault or abuse, and you would like more information or support, these hotlines can help: RAINN’s 24/7 confidential national sexual assault hotline: 1-800-656-4673, or ChildHelp: 1-800-4-A-Child.

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Jul 14, 2020

HEAVY MEDALS Part 3: The Bela Show

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Growing his image as the most well-known coach in gymnastics, Bela builds his brand and aims for more gold medals with a new star athlete. But after his champion fails at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Bela announces he’s stepping away from elite-level gymnastics and retreats to his Ranch in Texas. But even after stepping out of the spotlight, Bela remains in focus, as accusations of abuse grow against the coach.
If you or someone you know has been subjected to sexual assault or abuse, and you would like more information or support, these hotlines can help: RAINN’s 24/7 confidential national sexual assault hotline: 1-800-656-4673, or ChildHelp: 1-800-4-A-Child.

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Jul 14, 2020

HEAVY MEDALS Part 2: American Hustle

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After defecting from Romania, the Karolyis begin to build their gymnastics empire in the U.S. But they need a champion. Enter Mary Lou Retton, the bubbly teenager whose perfect 10 at the 1984 Olympics will make her and her coach household names. Little girls across America want to be Mary Lou, and train with her famous coach. Bela has given the United States its first gold medal in women’s gymnastics. Now he needs to harness that success to advance his own cause.

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Jul 14, 2020

HEAVY MEDALS Part 1: Made in Romania

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In the middle of the Cold War, Romanian gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi turn Nadia Comaneci, a 14-year-old gymnast from a Communist country, into a global symbol of excellence at the 1976 Olympics when she scores the first perfect 10. But Romania becomes too small and too controlled for Bela’s ambitions, and the Karolyis set their sights on the freedom of the United States.
If you or someone you know has been subjected to sexual assault or abuse, and you would like more information or support, these hotlines can help: RAINN’s 24/7 confidential national sexual assault hotline: 1-800-656-4673, or ChildHelp: 1-800-4-A-Child.

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Jul 07, 2020

TRAILER: HEAVY MEDALS

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For 40 years, as athletes came and went, there was one constant presence in Olympic gymnastics: Bela and Martha Karolyi — the most successful coaches in the sport’s history, and the most controversial. The Karolyis wielded unprecedented power and became more recognizable characters than many of their gymnasts. Generations of gymnasts trained at their isolated ranch outside of Houston, where the Karolyis were champion-making teachers to some and tormentors to others. In front of the cameras, Bela was the bear-hugging motivator who pushed his athletes to the limit and Martha was the silent partner who demanded perfection. From the 1970s through the 1990s, the Karolyis coached some of the greatest names in the sport, from Nadia Comaneci to Mary Lou Retton and Kerri Strug. The couple then took over the U.S. national team program that featured Olympic champions like Carly Patterson and Simone Biles. Few dared challenge the Karolyis’ coaching methods, and those who did were ignored or ostracized. But in 2016, their accomplishments came under fire as the extent of Larry Nassar’s predatory sexual abuse was exposed. “Heavy Medals: Inside the Karolyi Gymnastics Empire” is a 7-part series from 30 for 30 Podcasts, in collaboration with espnW. All seven episodes available July 14th.

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Original audio documentaries from the makers of the acclaimed 30 for 30 film series, featuring stories from the world of sports and beyond. 30 for 30 offers captivating storytelling for sports fans and general interest listeners alike, going beyond the field to explore how sports, competition, athleticism and adventure affect our lives and our world. Sports stories like you’ve never heard before.