Stamford, Conn – June 20, 2016 – NBC Sports Films, in association with the USOC’s "Team USA Hometown Stories" program and USA Gymnastics, will premiere The Ranch: Home of An American Sports Dynasty, a one-hour special which explores Karolyi Ranch, the historic U.S. women’s gymnastics team training center built by legendary coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi, on Friday, June 24 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Each month, America’s top female gymnasts and their personal coaches travel to USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center at the Karolyi Ranch, for a national team camp, where they hope to impress national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and increase their chances of earning one of five spots on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team for the Rio Olympics.
Through exclusive access to the training sessions, as well as interviews with Olympic champions and aspiring hopefuls, The Ranch highlights the history of the training center, the programs that take place there, bonds between athletes and coaches that are formed at the compound, and the magnitude of Bela and Martha Karolyi’s contributions to the sport of gymnastics and America’s rise to greatness.
“The Ranch will invite viewers inside the doors of one of the world’s most famous training centers for Olympic gymnasts, and give them an exclusive look at the history of the facility and the making of the 2016 U.S. women’s gymnastics team,” said Mark Levy Senior Vice President, Original Productions and Creative, NBC Sports Group. “Much more than just an Olympic training center, Karolyi Ranch is where generations of women have forged the bonds that have transformed the U.S. women’s gymnastics team into a true dynasty. Without the unparalleled collaboration between NBC, the USOC, USA Gymnastics and the Karolyis, this incredible production would have never been possible.”
The Ranch features interviews with 2012 Olympic team and all-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas, 2012 Olympic team and floor exercise gold medalist Aly Raisman, three-time reigning world champion Simone Biles, as well as Olympic hopefuls Ragan Smith, Maggie Nichols and Laurie Hernandez.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team will be contending for its fourth consecutive Olympic all-around gold and second Olympic team title in a row. In addition to the Olympics, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team has won every World Championship team and individual all-around gold medal dating back to 2011.
In addition to Douglas and Raisman, gymnasts who have trained at the Karolyi Ranch include Olympic gold medalists Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson, Carly Patterson, Kerri Strug, Dominique Moceanu, and Mary Lou Retton.
“If you come here, you come for a reason. The reason is to get better and better. No one comes here to fool around. Everyone who comes here has a goal to grow smarter and better,” said Bela Karolyi. “This is the place I created from nothing. This place is my life. This place is my love. I am very proud of it.”
“I’ve been to this ranch a million times,” said Raisman, “Every time you come here, you take a deep breath and think about how many girls have walked through that door and become Olympic champions. It’s really, really, special.”
“When I first came here I was in awe.” said Douglas. “This is where Olympians train. It’s the Karolyi camp.”
The Ranch is the latest project produced by NBC Sports Films and NBC Olympics. It was directed by award winning documentarian Scott Boggins, and is narrated by actress Kristen Bell. The Ranch is part of NBC Olympics and the USOC’s Team USA Hometown Stories program, an eight-part series highlighting some of the USOC’s most historic Olympic training centers in the United States.
Additional projects include More Than Gold: Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Center of Attention: The Unreal Life of Derek Sanderson, Lokomotiv, Space Race, Long Way Home: The Jessica Long Story, as well as Nancy & Tonya, which aired during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Their Finest Hour, which aired during the 2012 London Olympics, and Operation Yellow Ribbon, which aired during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2016 P&G Women’s Gymnastics Championship will air immediately following The Ranch, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
ABOUT NBC SPORTS FILMS
NBC Sports Films, a division of NBC Sports Group, was founded in 2015 and produces sports documentaries that air across NBC, NBCSN, NBC Sports Regional Networks, and NBC Sports Digital’s platforms. Using the story telling abilities of the Emmy Award-winning production units that produce NBC Sport’s coverage of the Olympics, Sunday Night Football, and the Stanley Cup Final, NBC Sports Films shines a spotlight on historical moments and compelling stories that stem from the myriad of signature sports properties in the NBC Sports Group portfolio.