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My Honest Review Of Netflix’s Latest Docuseries: Sprint

Is it really worth the watch?

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We shared our thoughts on ‘Sprint’ in our latest podcast episode:

From the people who turned cycling and F1 from nothing to something, ‘Sprint,’ the latest track and field docuseries following elite sprinters, will hope to bring that same mainstream push.

A few months ago, Netflix announced the release date of ‘Sprint,’ a sports documentary series spotlighting sprinters throughout their preparation, training, and competition. The new six-episode series premiered on Netflix on July 2, 2024.

Yes, I’ve already watched it. Twice. And now, I’m gonna give you my honest thoughts. 

My Honest Review Of Netflix's Latest Docuseries: Sprint 1

What Is Sprint Even About?

Netflix has been pushing a number of lesser-known sports into the spotlight recently: Formula One, Cycling, Tennis, and Cheerleading, to name a few (though some having more success than others).

And now, track sprinting is getting its chance. A sport that really only gets views at the Olympics, ‘Sprint’ hopes to take it more mainstream.

Meet the stars of ‘Sprint,’ including Noah Lyles, Sha’Carri Richardson, Zharnel Hughes, Marcell Jacobs, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, and Elaine Thompson-Herah. Each episode delves into their lives, challenges, and triumphs on and off the track.

Witness intense rivalries and personal victories unfold across six gripping episodes. From the Diamond League to personal milestones, ‘Sprint’ captures the drama and dedication of these athletes as they push themselves to the limit.

The series dives into the big names on the track and their larger-than-life personalities. Each episode gives viewers an inside look into the preparation and psychological battles that take place between runners on and off the track.

The big question of the show: Who is the fastest of them all?

My Honest Review Of Netflix's Latest Docuseries: Sprint 2

Episode Synopsis

I’ll try and avoid any spoiler here.

Episode 1: ‘Heir To The Throne’ Experience Noah Lyles’ journey as he claims his place among sprinting royalty, alongside intimate moments with Marcell Jacobs. This episode sets the stage with raw emotion and personal stories, highlighting the pressures and motivations driving these athletes.

Episode 2: ‘Queens’ Sha’Carri Richardson takes center stage, showcasing her bold personality and fierce determination. Dive into the USA vs. Jamaica sprinting rivalry and the electrifying performances that define these athletes. The episode explores the complexities of fame and ambition in the world of elite sports.

Episode 3: ‘Belonging’ Noah Lyles faces setbacks and challenges, revealing the human side of his pursuit for greatness. Discover the resilience of Zharnel Hughes and the complexities of being a top-tier sprinter. This episode delves into the personal sacrifices and emotional highs and lows of the athletes’ careers.

Episode 4: ‘Trials & Tribulations’ Shericka Jackson emerges as a standout figure, navigating fame and competition amidst a backdrop of personal growth. Witness the evolution of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah, icons in their own right. The episode explores the pressures of maintaining dominance and the sacrifices required to stay at the top of their game.

Episode 5: ‘The Gold Standard’ Arriving in Budapest for the World Championships, Noah Lyles, Sha’Carri Richardson, and their fellow sprinters face intense media scrutiny. Amidst the pressure, they prepare mentally and physically for their toughest competition yet, navigating the spotlight while striving for victory and recognition on the global stage of track and field.

Episode 6: ‘The Double Is Alive’ An incident on the way to the men’s 200-meter race shakes both the athletes and their supporters. Meanwhile, in the women’s final, Shericka Jackson sets her sights on breaking Flo-Jo’s world record, setting the stage for a thrilling conclusion to ‘Sprint.’

My Honest Review Of Netflix's Latest Docuseries: Sprint 3

My Honest Thoughts

‘Sprint’ was a great opportunity to help bring track, a sport that really only gains popularity around the Olympic Games, into the spotlight. The producers of the series are no strangers to making the lesser known sports more mainstream as they did so for Formula One and cycling with ‘Drive to Survive’ and ‘Tour de France: Unchained,’ respectively.

I think that the personalities chosen for ‘Sprint’ really carry the show forward. And this is really important for these short events.

Compared to ‘Tour de France: Unchained’ (I’m gonna be doing a fair bit of comparing to this series, since I really enjoyed it and am a cyclist myself), which has hours and hours of racing to pull sports drama from, think crashes, mechanical issues, and mountain climbs, a ten second race just isn’t going to offer that level of drama.

This is why having those big personalitieis is so crucial to the success of this series. That’s where the drama comes from. It comes from Noah Lyles and all his smart remarks or Sha’Carri Riachrdson’s big bubbly personality.

I saw ‘Sprint’ as more of a reality show that a sports docuseries, especially as I compared it to ‘Tour de France: Unchained,’ which had most of the drama come from the racing itself.

My Honest Review Of Netflix's Latest Docuseries: Sprint 4

Now, I don’t think this is a bad thing. In fact, it made the show really enjoyable and entertaining. I had my doubts before watching it, thinking, how can this be something I want to watch if there’s no drama from the races? No crashes? No mega pulls or hero rides like there was in ‘Tour de France: Unchained?’

So, although it was different from what I expected from an entertainment point of view, it was a really fun watch, especially getting to know these big characters.

On top of a great cast, I also liked how it will open the eyes of viewers who are less familiar with track. It explains the Diamond League and the World Championships and that there are major high-stakes competitions outside the Olympics.

Overall, I think it’s a great watch and gives viewers a nice inside look to the sport outside the Olympics. With just six 45-minute episodes in the first season, it’s also extremely binge-able!

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

1 thought on “My Honest Review Of Netflix’s Latest Docuseries: Sprint”

  1. Was a bit dubious for a start but it grew on us as we got to know the major combatants. Each episode about the perfect length- was the perfect series to watch before the olympics- the gun 100 m and 200m runners are now etched in our minds and these races will be eagerly looked forward to in Paris in the next few weeks- highly recommended!

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