On July 18, 2016, the release of the McLaren Report on alleged Russian sports doping rang out like a canon shot aimed directly at Russia, blowing the Olympic dreams the country’s athletes to bits. Targeting an entire country was unusual, so why Russia? Testimonies from former world-class athletes and hacked information from the opaque World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) show the answer may lie more in politics than the urine jar.
For over 25 years, six friends pushed the limits, making the most challenging BASE jumps imaginable. No building was too tall, no jump too risky, no environment too extreme. Zooming through canyons in wingsuits like birds in flight, the daredevils felt unbridled joy and freedom. Over four years, half would pay the ultimate price for their addiction to flight.
The schoolgirls of Shaolin Epo Wushu College have little time to play with dolls. In their boarding school, they live by a tight schedule and strict discipline. Every day they train to fight with knives and swords. Living a Spartan lifestyle, they work hard to make their teachers and their country proud but only students who pass the exams are allowed to continue their education.
To them, boxing is more than just a sport: it gives freedom, empowerment and the confidence to stand up for themselves. They're the students of Karachi’s first boxing school for girls. Training here, they feel better able to protect themselves but more than that, they also know they achieve more than what their conservative society expects of them.
They can hold their breath for several minutes and slow their heart rate to almost nothing. Free divers plunge to incredible depths with no scuba gear. They push themselves to the limit to break new records but despite the serious risks involved, they can’t resist the call of the deep.
After the Gaza strip was heavily bombed in 2014, all that remained in many areas were ruins, which became a training ground for young free runners. The sport, also known as parkour, is particularly dangerous in debris strewn Gaza, but the young men say that, as Palestinians, they’ve become accustomed to danger.
Kok Boru is an ancient sport played with a dead goat. Similar to polo, two teams on horseback compete for control of its body and are rewarded for scoring goals at either end of a large field. While other games have evolved into sanitised modern versions, this ancient nomadic tradition is still thriving in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan.