Winter sports stars share their incredible journeys to Beijing 2022 in From the Start, presented by Toyota

Ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, a new IOC Olympic Channel original series – co-created with Worldwide Olympic Partner Toyota – is highlighting the incredible journeys of four athletes who are set to star at the Games.

From the Start, which premieres on 26 January, tells the stories of short-track speed skating legend Arianna Fontana (Italy), world champion snowboarder Mark McMorris (Canada), Olympic luge silver medallist Chris Mazdzer (USA) and multi-sport Paralympic star Oksana Masters (USA).

The four-episode original series sees each athlete share the inspirational story of how they reached the pinnacle of their sport, and includes insights from the people who believed in them and helped them along the way.

For Fontana – the most successful female short-track speed skater in Olympic history – this includes her brother, Alessandro, and husband Anthony Lobello Jr, who is now her coach after competing in short track at the 2006 and 2014 Winter Games himself.

“A lot of people made sacrifices for me to be here, so I need to work for them as well,” reveals Fontana, the eight-time Olympic medallist, in her episode. “There are some days that I don’t want to practise, or I don’t feel that good; but knowing that there are people at home who are looking up to me, or supporting me and believing in me, I’m like ‘Ok, I need to do it.’”

“We are excited to launch this sixth original series created in partnership with Worldwide Olympic Partner Toyota, and grateful for their strong commitment and support to engage new audiences with the Olympic values,” said Mark Parkman, General Manager of and the Olympic Channel. “We hope that this new series will help build excitement ahead of the Olympic Games Beijing 2022, but also connect and inspire people thanks to the compelling personal stories of some athletes preparing for the Games.”

“Toyota is thrilled to once again partner with the Olympic Channel on a series that profiles inspiring stories from our Global Team Toyota Athletes,” said Lisa Materazzo, Group Vice President, Toyota Marketing, Toyota Motor North America. “From the Start offers a glimpse into what it takes to compete on the world’s sports stage. We hope viewers from all over the world will join us in celebrating these athletes and their unwavering support systems that have helped them excel in their Olympic and Paralympic journeys.”

From the Start is the latest co-production between the Olympic Channel and its Founding Partner, Toyota. Previous collaborations have included the original series Is It Possible?, which highlighted the efforts of boundary-breaking sports stars, and the Webby award-winning series What Moves Me, which revealed how world-class athletes overcame their own personal barriers. In the build-up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Toyota also co-developed the original series Unleash the New, which shared the inspiring personal stories of five athletes preparing for their Olympic debuts in Tokyo, while YOU GOT THIS! saw several stars reveal what goes through their mind in the final 60 seconds before they compete.

Alongside From the Start, these branded content series complement Toyota’s Worldwide Olympic Partnership with the IOC and its long-term commitment to supporting the creation of a more inclusive and sustainable society in which everyone can challenge their impossible through stories of determination, as well as through Toyota technologies.


Olympic Channel Episode Guide: From The Start

Episode 1 – Arianna Fontana: Find people who believe in you

Italy’s Arianna Fontana is the most decorated female short track speed skater in Olympic history. Get to know her and her journey to the top with the help of the people who have believed in her From the Start, as she prepares for Beijing 2022.

Episode 2 – Chris Mazdzer: Believe in something greater than yourself

Chris Mazdzer won the United States’ first-ever men’s singles luge Olympic medal at PyeongChang 2018. None of it would have been possible without the people who supported him on his Olympic journey. Now, the silver medallist and new father is aiming for gold at Beijing 2022, but achieving excellence requires belief that goes beyond just the athlete. Follow his journey in From the Start, as he prepares for his fourth Olympic appearance.

Episode 3 – Mark McMorris: Surround yourself with a great team

At Sochi 2014, Mark won bronze in the Olympic debut of snowboard slopestyle. In 2018, only 11 months after a near-fatal snowboarding accident, he won bronze again at PyeongChang 2018. Mark has a long history of overcoming any obstacle in his way, but he couldn’t do it on his own. Follow his journey as he prepares for his third Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.

Episode 4 – Oksana Masters: Mom has been my biggest supporter

Oksana Masters is a five-time Paralympian. She competes in both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games and has won a total of 10 Paralympic medals across four sports. Get to know better her unique journey, from a Ukrainian orphanage to the Paralympic podium, and the people who have supported her From the Start.

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