This project seeks to answer the question: What does the Olympic dream look like around the world?
In wrestling, it’s said that to get the best out of yourself, you need to “go to dark places.”
While on the surface it may seem ominous, I view it with reverence. It’s a positive thing. The struggle is beautiful.
You have to face your limits, real and perceived, and both test what you are currently made of while creating what you will be in the future. The process is simultaneously a referendum and an investment. It can be a kind of torture. But given how many say that wrestling saved their lives, it can also be a salvation. And challenges are what make us better. Without effort, without struggle, there is no growth.
The plan for Dark Places is to visit athletes in different countries and document their training, facilities, environments, and practices to show the hard work and dedication they have in common while existing in vastly different situations and with wildly different resources. Each individual will be a standalone story and together they will be a detailed view of what it takes to compete at the highest level in the world’s oldest sport.
If you would like to make a financial contribution to help me cover the costs of travel, lodging, equipment, and services to make this project happen, you can do that here.