The 100 meter dash at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics was undoubtedly one of the most hotly contested of all-time. Featuring superstar sprinters Ben Johnson (Canda) and Carl Lewis (USA), the race ended with Ben Johnson suprising Lewis, taking the home the Gold with an unprecedented 9.79 100 meter time.
Johnson's glory however, wasn't built to last.
Three days later, the IOC announced that Johnson had failed a drug test, thus forcing him to forfeit his medal to Lewis. A true pandora's box in terms of athlete doping, the film looks at the magnitude of what went down, as well as things that may still be shrouded in mystery. Was Johnson acting as a lone wolf, or merely the victim of a larger problem. Featuring intereviews from ALL EIGHT particpants in the 1988 race, Daniel Gordon's 9.79* is sure to tackle those elephant in the room issues less talented filmmakers are often unable to accomplish.
The Seoul race wound up being the world's wake-up call to drugs in sports. Now the problem runs rampant throughout professional and amateur athletics. As drug-testing gets more sophisticated, so do means of evading it. This powerful story forces us to question what we expect from our athletes as they pursue records in the name of national pride. This story from the past is vital to understanding the future of sports.
9.79* will air this Tuesday at 8pm ET, 5 pm PT.