World’s Biggest Fans Show Their Passion in Olympic Channel’s Groupies


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 MADRID From extensive wig collections to elaborate costumes, Groupies profiles some of the most dedicated and passionate sports fans from around the world who go to extreme lengths to support and cheer on their Olympic heroes. The new five-episode original series premieres on Thursday, 4 May, and is available exclusively on the Olympic Channel global digital platform.

In the premiere episode, super fan Andrew Hornsby of Belfast, Northern Ireland is named World Archery’s Fan of the Year during a surprise trip to the Las Vegas 2017 Indoor Archery World Cup. Andrew is diagnosed with autism and has followed the sport intensely since attending the 2010 Archery World Cup Final in Edinburgh, where he first met three-time Olympic medallist Brady Ellison of Team USA.

“He [Andrew] knew who I was, what tournaments I shot in, where I placed, what scores I shot,” said Ellison. “He knew stuff about me and my career that I didn’t even remember.”

“We’re quite a close-knit family in archery and Andrew is really part of that,” added World Archery Communications Manager Chris Wells. “The passion he brings to the sport is really special.”

Future episodes feature some of the most passionate fans of Olympic sports including volleyball patriot Matt Garthoff, a quiet father by day who transforms to George Washington when cheering on Team USA; Hans Madsen, whose 600 wigs and colourful beard have become regular fixtures at Canadian women’s curling matches; Kleintje Pils, the musical ensemble who have become a part of Dutch culture through their support of speed skating; and Angela Pop who has spread her passion for handball to young people throughout Romania.

Groupies was produced exclusively for the Olympic Channel by VICE Media LLC, the world’s leading youth media brand. The Olympic Channel will premiere additional original programming produced by VICE in the coming months including Identify, a series of intimate portraits of transgender athletes; Feed the Flame, a first-hand investigation into the unusual diets and native cuisines of world-class Olympic locales; and the award-winning Foul Play, a far-reaching investigation that explores the darker history of the Olympic Games as it relates to gender, religion, and race.

The Olympic Channel is a ground-breaking global platform where fans can experience the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round, and is available worldwide via mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and at olympicchannel.com.

Olympic Channel Schedule: Groupies

4 May Groupies*: Archery’s Human Encyclopaedia
11 May Groupies: Volleyball’s Cheerleading Patriot
18 May Groupies: Curling’s Globetrotting ‘Beard Guy’
25 May Groupies: Speed Skating’s World-Famous Pep Band
1 June Groupies: Handball’s Beating Heart

* Series Premiere.

Schedule is subject to change.

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About the Olympic Channel

The Olympic Channel is a multi-platform destination where fans can discover, engage and share in the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round. Offering original programming, news, live sports events and highlights, the Olympic Channel provides additional exposure for sports and athletes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Olympic Channel 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. Founding Partners supporting the Olympic Channel are Worldwide TOP Partners Bridgestone, Toyota and Alibaba. The Olympic Channel is available worldwide via mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and at olympicchannel.com.