REVIEW: ‘SPRINT’ is helped by a good format and a known journey ahead

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 2, 2024
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Sprint Image for review of Netflix documentary series
'SPRINT' Promotional Image (Credit - Netflix)


SPRINT puts respect on the lives of sprinters as the documentary series follows the world’s fastest human beings.

Brought to you by the same people who produced Full Swing, Drive to Survive, and Break Point comes SPRINT, a sports docuseries following athletes competing to be the fastest person on the planet throughout the 2023 World Championships. Admittedly, out of all sports, track and field is something where I need convincing the most, but with a similar format to the series mentioned above, this was equally engaging.

It helps to know we are embarking on a journey in the past and the future; while Season 1 of SPRINT focuses on 2023, Netflix will release a second season following the same athletes as they head to their endgame, the Olympic Games Paris 2024. Like most sports, the journey is as exciting as the destination, and you get that feeling in this TV show that everything is worth fractions of a second, from every moment you train until you enter your lane. With in-depth interviews with star athletes and a build-up of main events, the series sells why this sport is worth watching.

It is tricky to apply a similar format to Drive to Survive without sounding too condescending. Sprinting in track and field is merely seconds of our lives, while the other series document whole seasons of absolute slogging to the finish lines in bigger formats. SPRINT has to focus more on the personalities, the mind games, and the fear of failure. Without that, it may have been dull from a documentary perspective.

For these athletes, not being the fastest person in the world is not just a setback; it’s a disaster. Their only goal is to be the best. Unlike other sports, where there are milestones to aim for, sprinters are solely focused on momentum and status. Even if you reach the top spot, you are only respected if you can maintain that speed, a prevalent theme in Episode 1. This dedication and single-minded focus is truly inspiring and demands respect.

That’s why Usain Bolt is featured in the docuseries. His brand and name alone have brought more awareness to the fastest people on earth, and having that on a pedestal gives the series perspective. I felt a little ashamed of how unaware I was of these sprinters’ dreams and how popular athletics is as a whole.

As an average viewer, I typically tune into track and field every four years for the Olympics. However, my level of engagement often depends on how much the athletes’ stories pique my interest. SPRINT effectively proves that there are compelling stories to tell. Whether it’s Marcell Jacobs, the reigning Italian 100m champion who has battled injuries and doubters, or Noah Lyles, the ambitious sprinter transitioning to the 100m format at the Paris Diamond League, these stories are what make the sport truly captivating.

You’ll grow to understand and like the egoic nature of these athletes. It’s them against the world and each other. And while I don’t believe this docuseries pips the others (maybe I’m being biased), it’s still another sport worth documenting.

Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
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