A Fighting Chance
Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville showcases three inspiring stories of all that can be accomplished when a person decides to defy barriers and push limits.
Over one million athletes from all over the world train to qualify for the Olympic games every four years, but only 1% of them make it. When athletes win, it has a positive effect on their countries, their communities, their families and their lives.
Linline Mansale, a competitive beach volleyball player says that whenever she travels people ask her where she’s from. When she tells them Vanuatu, hardly anybody knows what part of the world she’s referring to. Along with her teammate Miller Pata, when they traveled out of their country for the very first time they discovered a whole new world beyond their tiny village. Their eyes opened to all that could be made available to them if they were to win.
In Vanuatu, family comes first and family members believe they are part of the team. Both young women are also mothers and they try to keep their children with them when they travel. Of course, sometimes it’s just not possible. In their culture, women are supposed to stay home so just by participating in sports, they are setting a new standard that’s sometimes hard for the villagers to understand.
Yenebier Guillén is a female boxer from the Dominican Republic. Many people in this island nation hold two or three jobs in order to survive because it’s a poor country. This means that sports is seen as the path to success or the way out of poverty. Yenebier started out playing softball. While she was in the field one day, a boxing coach saw her throw and decided that she was wasting her time in that sport. He invited her to train with him the very next day. Boxing is her passion and she has won many medals for her country.
Yenebier says that her family is her motivation. She is well aware that if she succeeds, she will be able to help them. Although she wants to start her own family, she has willingly sacrificed that dream to continue boxing for as long as she can.
Tsepo Matibelle is a marathoner who lives in Lesotho, a tiny kingdom within South Africa. The country is practically made up of endless green fields, majestic mountains, and beautiful waterfalls. Lesotho began participating in the Olympics in the 1970s. Tsepo supports his parents by competing, so he has no other option but to be good at it.
In Lesotho there’s a strong sense of community. Nobody ever goes hungry because all they need to do is go to a neighbor’s house. They call it ubuntu ‘I am a person because of others, how I treat others is who I am’.
All three athletes are from poor countries. They have no big sponsors or trainers so they compete at a disadvantage. But they have the urge to win. Watch this now.