The Inspiring Stories Behind a Country’s Only Olympic Medal Told in the The Power of One from the Olympic Channel


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MADRID – In the history of the Modern Olympics, there is one athlete who has won 28 career Olympic medals, but there are also entire countries who have won just one. The Power of One tells the powerful stories behind the first and only Olympic medal won by a country. The new, six-episode original series premieres worldwide on Tuesday, 4 September on the Olympic Channel global digital platform, and is available on-demand at olympicchannel.com and on its mobile apps.

Each episode of The Power of One delves into the story behind a country’s Olympic medal and how the impact of that one medal has changed the local and national community forever. The Power of One was produced exclusively for the Olympic Channel by Visual Comunicación from Spain.

Episodes include the inspiring story of Majlinda Kelmendi, the judo athlete who became the first Kosovar to win an Olympic medal for this Balkan country at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Majlinda’s gold medal reinforced the pride of this young nation which became recognised by the International OIympic Committee in 2014. Now, Kelmendi is a national figure.

“Representing Kosovo in international competitions means everything to me. For me, it’s life,” said Kelmendi. “People in Kosovo look at me as a hero. I just proved them that if they want something, they can have it. If they want to be Olympic champions, they can be.”

The Power of One also tells the story of Erick Barrondo who won Guatemala’s first-ever Olympic medal at the Olympic Games London 2012 by taking home silver in the 20Km walk race discipline. In his football-crazed country, Barrondo’s medal has inspired a whole generation on the importance of goal-setting and also brought a significant increase in the participation of racewalking, mostly in his birth region of Alta Verapaz.

“The moment they placed the medal around my neck, conveniently by a Guatemalan, it brought back all the years of struggle, of getting up early in the morning, staying up late at night, of the times I went to bed hungry,” said Barrondo. “Because of the Olympic medal many kids have realised that sports open the doors to escape poverty, maybe not to become rich, but to have stability and an opportunity to live a better life.”

In addition to Kosovo and Guatemala, countries whose Olympic medal moments are featured in The Power of One series include Cyprus, Jordan, Montenegro and Togo.

Olympic Channel Episode Guide: The Power of One

Episode 1 – How Guatemala’s Olympic medal inspired a generation of racewalkers  

See how Erick Barrondo’s racewalking silver medal from London 2012 inspired a new generation of young athletes to take up racewalking.

Episode 2 – How Cyprus’ Olympic medal brought hope to a nation in crisis  

Discover how the silver medal Pavlos Kontides won for Cyprus at London 2012 in sailing brought hope to the nation during a time of crisis.

Episode 3 – How Jordan’s Olympic medal turned Ahmad Abughaush into an icon  

When Ahmad Abughaush won Jordan’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in 2016, he instantly became an icon for his fellow countrymen.

Episode 4How Majlinda Kelmendi’s historic Olympic medal put Kosovo on the map  

Majlinda Kelmendi’s gold medal in Rio put Kosovo on top of the podium for the first time soon after being welcomed into the Olympic family.

Episode 5 – How the “Fighting Lionesses” won Montenegro’s sole Olympic medal   

How the women’s handball team won their country’s first-ever Olympic medal in 2012 and became the “Fighting Lionesses” in the process.

Episode 6How Benjamin Boukpeti returned home and won Togo’s only Olympic medal  

Born and raised in France, slalom canoeist Benjamin Boukpeti opted to represent Togo in Beijing and won a historic Olympic medal.

The Olympic Channel is an over-the-top (OTT) global media destination 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.

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About the Olympic Channel

The Olympic Channel is a multi-platform media 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 in 11 languages. 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.

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Editor’s Note

The official trailer for The Power of One can be watched HERE; full episodes can be viewed HERE on the Olympic Channel.