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Personal Gold Worldwide Release

Personal Gold Film on "Data, Not Drugs" for Olympic Athlete Performance Now on InDemand and Netflix

LOS ANGELES, CA - 08/09/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — Sky Christopherson, Olympic athlete and world record holder in cycling, announced the premiere “Personal Gold,” a feature documentary on the use of data, not drugs to enhance athletic performance, to audiences worldwide, available now on Netflix, InDemand and other streaming services. Sky and his data team including world-renown doctor Eric Topol coached the US Olympic Sprint Bike Racing Team competing now in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Personal Gold is also available for sale on Itunes, Amazon, Vimeo, GooglePlay, Steam, Vudu, and VHX with Microsoft and Dish being added to the release plans for October. Kanopystreaming supplies the educational market. 

Christopherson and his fellow Olympic athletes including Dotsie Bausch (Olympic Silver Medalist, London 2012) and Adam Laurent (Olympian, Atlanta 1996) shared outtakes from the film and secrets on how performance enhancing data – not drugs or doping – can deliver outstanding athletic performance, obtained by use of Fitbit-like wearable devices, using “big data” and new real-time monitoring to deliver peak performance in intense competitive environments, like those athletes are experiencing in Rio this month.

“Athletes are focused on optimizing their health and performance.  But consumers who want to be healthy can use this technology to better manage their diabetes, chronic pain or heart disease.  Our message in the movie and in our app is to maximize the use of data and minimize the use of drugs.  This technology has the ability to revolutionize modern medicine,” said Christopherson.

Selections from the “Personal Gold” feature film were shown at a gathering of Olympians on Wednesday, Aug 3 in Santa Monica.

’Personal Gold’ is one of the best films we’ve had the opportunity to distribute as evidenced by the many awards it’s won and the overwhelming response we’ve been getting from audiences who’ve seen the film,” said Ellen Pittleman, CEO of Hybrid Entertainment which distributes “Personal Gold.”

Link to movie trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Uknv-71lA

More about Sky Christopherson

Called a 'Wunderkind' by The New York Times, and recently voted 5th nationwide in 'Top 40 under 40 in Healthcare Innovation', Sky is a world record holder and was a member of the U.S. Cycling Team's 'Project 96' prior to the 1996 Olympics. Frustrated by the rampant doping culture in cycling, Sky retired after the 2000 Olympics and dedicated his career in search for a better solution. In 2011, Sky broke a world record using an individualized digital health approach inspired by Dr. Eric Topol, the previous holder of the record receiving a lifetime ban for drugs. This experiment was the genesis of OAthlete that helped athletes win medals at the 2012 London Olympics, receiving international media and featured in the award-winning documentary film 'Personal Gold (2015)'

Media Contacts:

Company Name: People Media Worldwide, Inc.
Full Name: John Lockhart
Phone: (800) 600-7111 x 224
Email Address: john@peoplemedia.la
Website: www.personal-gold.com

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Personal Gold Netflix Acquisition

Personal Gold Film on "Data, Not Drugs" for Olympic Athlete Performance Now on InDemand and Netflix

LOS ANGELES, CA - 08/09/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — Sky Christopherson, Olympic athlete and world record holder in cycling, announced the premiere “Personal Gold,” a feature documentary on the use of data, not drugs to enhance athletic performance, to audiences worldwide, available now on Netflix, InDemand and other streaming services. Sky and his data team including world-renown doctor Eric Topol coached the US Olympic Sprint Bike Racing Team competing now in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Personal Gold is also available for sale on Itunes, Amazon, Vimeo, GooglePlay, Steam, Vudu, and VHX with Microsoft and Dish being added to the release plans for October. Kanopystreaming supplies the educational market. 

Christopherson and his fellow Olympic athletes including Dotsie Bausch (Olympic Silver Medalist, London 2012) and Adam Laurent (Olympian, Atlanta 1996) shared outtakes from the film and secrets on how performance enhancing data – not drugs or doping – can deliver outstanding athletic performance, obtained by use of Fitbit-like wearable devices, using “big data” and new real-time monitoring to deliver peak performance in intense competitive environments, like those athletes are experiencing in Rio this month.

“Athletes are focused on optimizing their health and performance.  But consumers who want to be healthy can use this technology to better manage their diabetes, chronic pain or heart disease.  Our message in the movie and in our app is to maximize the use of data and minimize the use of drugs.  This technology has the ability to revolutionize modern medicine,” said Christopherson.

Selections from the “Personal Gold” feature film were shown at a gathering of Olympians on Wednesday, Aug 3 in Santa Monica.

’Personal Gold’ is one of the best films we’ve had the opportunity to distribute as evidenced by the many awards it’s won and the overwhelming response we’ve been getting from audiences who’ve seen the film,” said Ellen Pittleman, CEO of Hybrid Entertainment which distributes “Personal Gold.”

Link to movie trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27Uknv-71lA

More about Sky Christopherson

Called a 'Wunderkind' by The New York Times, and recently voted 5th nationwide in 'Top 40 under 40 in Healthcare Innovation', Sky is a world record holder and was a member of the U.S. Cycling Team's 'Project 96' prior to the 1996 Olympics. Frustrated by the rampant doping culture in cycling, Sky retired after the 2000 Olympics and dedicated his career in search for a better solution. In 2011, Sky broke a world record using an individualized digital health approach inspired by Dr. Eric Topol, the previous holder of the record receiving a lifetime ban for drugs. This experiment was the genesis of OAthlete that helped athletes win medals at the 2012 London Olympics, receiving international media and featured in the award-winning documentary film 'Personal Gold (2015)'

Media Contacts:

Company Name: People Media Worldwide, Inc.
Full Name: John Lockhart
Phone: (800) 600-7111 x 224
Email Address: john@peoplemedia.la
Website: www.personal-gold.com

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2016 Sneak-Peek San Francisco

Photo of Sky Christopherson: Beatrice De Gea, New York Times

Photo of Sky Christopherson: Beatrice De Gea, New York Times

With the hundreds of trackers and monitors in the health technology market today, this session will showcase the ones that are beautifully designed and most effective.
— Health 2.0 Featured Demos, San Francisco, CA

Wednesday October 7th, 2015. San Francisco, CA.

enhanced-buzz-13514-1346704769-1.jpg

Chelsea Clinton opened the 9th Annual Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, CA to an audience of over 2,100 attendees comprised of leading health care industry professionals, companies, and innovators.

Olympic athlete and health innovator Sky Christopherson (ranked 5th in a recent national 40 under 40) gave a sneak-peek of his company OAthlete's upcoming 2017 app based on work done with Olympic athletes (mentioned in a FORBES tech feature). The demo was presented on the closing day of the conference in a session dedicated to the 5 hottest new apps out of 220 submissions in health and fitness.

The session was titled: “Measured from Head to Toe:  With the hundreds of trackers and monitors in the health technology market today, this session will showcase the ones that are beautifully designed and most effective."  

On stage, Sky Christopherson said the upcoming app will "Finally give us an answer to the question we, as high performers, ask ourselves daily: What should we do and when?" The presentation noted that current apps are designed around linear feeds of data such as calories in, calories out, total steps, total sleep, missing the most powerful benefit to users; Timing. "We're biological beings built on a 24 hour cycle, so timing and interconnectedness is key".

He gave a sneak-peek of the app, "This consumer app will support the way we actually experience our day, making it simple to plan, track, and get instant data-driven feedback on the timing of key decisions we, as unique individuals, make daily that have the most powerful top-down impact on our health and performance." 

The goal of the app is to "make technology more widely accessible that helped athletes win 5 Olympic medals using an individualized approach called 'Data not Drugs'." Sky added that an upcoming feature length film (recently reviewed by Sports Illustrated) gives a behind-the-scenes look into how the project began to help the U.S. Women's Track Cycling Team, who had become America's medal hope when Lance Armstrong and teammates were banned for drugs just months before the 2012 London Olympics.

The 'Data not Drugs' software has since been applied to a variety of athlete and non-athlete use cases, and 2016 will see the full release of the software along with a growing ecosystem of cutting-edge sensors through partner companies. The OAthlete team also includes Olympic ambassador Tamara Christopherson, founding advisor and Olympian Adam Laurent, technical co-founder Dan Harms, and a world-class advisory board, including the project's initial inspiration Dr. Eric Topol.

Sky closed the demo with a big-data visualization via current partner company Datameer and added "With the prospect of a home Olympics in Los Angeles in 2024, we will continue working with Olympic athletes for discovery and validation, and invite further industry collaboration as we build toward a future with more data and less drugs in sport, and in health."

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FORBES

Big Data Not Doping: How the U.S. Olympic Women's Cycling Team Competes On Analytics

FORBES, June 2015. Bernard Marr. Sports and data analytics are becoming fast friends, and their relationship is a topic I’ve explored before. Another example I recently came across is how the U.S. women’s cycling team TISI NaN% used analytics to leap from underdog status to silver medalists at the 2012 London Olympics.

The team was struggling when it turned to Sky Christopherson for help. Christopherson was a former Olympian cyclist and broke a world record in the over 35s 200m velodrome sprint a decade after retiring as a professional athlete. He had done this using a training regime he designed himself, based on data analytics and originally inspired by the work of cardiologist Dr. Eric Topol.

Christopherson developed the Optimized Athlete program after becoming disillusioned with doping in the sport, putting the phrase “data not drugs” at the core of the philosophy. He put together a set of sophisticated data-capture and monitoring techniques to record every aspect affecting the women athletes’ performance, including diet, sleep patterns, environment and training intensity. However, he soon realized the data was growing at an unmanageable rate.

This prompted him to contact San Francisco’s data analytics and visualization specialists Datameer, which helped to implement the program. Datameer’s CEO, Stefan Groschupf, himself a former competitive swimmer at a national level in Germany, immediately saw the potential of the project. Christopherson said “They came back with some really exciting results – some connections that we hadn’t seen before. How diet, training and environment all influence each other – everything is interconnected and you can really see that in the data.”

The U.S. team on their way to a silver medal in the track cycling women’s team pursuit at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Aug. 4, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

The depth of the analytics meant that tailored programs could be tweaked for each athlete to get the best out of every team member. One insight which came up was that one cyclist – Jenny Reed – performed much better in training if she had slept at a lower temperature the night before. So she was provided with a temperature water-cooled mattress to keep her body at an exact temperature throughout the night. “This had the effect of giving her better deep sleep, which is when the body releases human growth hormone and testosterone naturally,” says Christopherson.

Big Data enables high performance sports teams to quantify the many factors that influence performance, such as training load, recovery, and how the human body regenerates. Teams can finally measure all these elements and establish early warning signals that, for example, stop them from pushing athletes into overtraining, which often results in injury and illness. The need to train hard while avoiding the dangers of injury and illness is, in Christopherson’s opinion, the leading temptation for athletes to use the performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) which have blighted cycling and other sports for so long.

Christopherson’s system has not been put through rigorous scientific testing but it seems to work fairly well based his personal success as well as the success of the team he coached. The key is finding balance during training. “It’s manipulating the training based on the data you have recorded so that you are never pushing into that danger zone, but also never backing off and under-utilizing your talent. It’s a very fine line and that’s what Big Data is enabling us to finally do.”

When used accurately and efficiently, it is thought that Big Data could vastly extend the careers of professional athletes and sportsmen well beyond the typical retirement age of 30, with the right balance of diet and exercise, and avoiding injury through over-exertion. Christopherson spoke to me from Hollywood, where he is trying to finalize a distribution deal for a new documentary called ‘Personal Gold,’ that tells this amazing story in much more detail. The Optimized Athlete program has also been turned into an app (OAthlete), which will be made available to early adopters from June 18th.

Read More > 

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SI.COM

How the U.S. women's cycling team transformed itself with technology

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, May, 2015. Tom Taylor. Three months out from the London 2012 Olympic Games, all available data pointed to one thing: the U.S. women’s track cycling pursuit team had no chance, at least not if it stuck by the book. Dotsie Bausch, Sarah Hammer, Jennie Reed, and Lauren Tamayo didn’t have the money or the manpower available to do things the traditional way.

So they tore up the training manual and turned instead to another set of data: their own. Perhaps, if they knew absolutely everything they could know about their own bodies—numbers gleaned from fitness trackers, medical devices and DNA testing—they could find enough of an edge to bring home a medal. Personal Gold, a documentary premiering at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 16, tells the story of that experiment, and the hypothesis-affirming silver medals they won. It also offers a hint of where science might be taking sports, and what may be in store for Rio 2016 and beyond.

Before London, the U.S. women hadn’t won a track medal in 20 years. In 2000, USA Cycling moved to dissolve its amateur programs and reassign resources in search of professional success. Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, and Floyd Landis were American cycling, not a handful of amateurs competing in velodromes. Three years before London, the International Olympic Committee also cut the individual pursuit from the track competition. Hammer, then a two-time world champion in that event, was stranded. 

Undeterred, she found a pair of road cyclists, Bausch and Tamayo, to contest the three-person team pursuit. At the Pan Am Championships in Aguascaliente, Mexico in 2010, they set a world record time of 3:19.569, but then they seemed to stall. Australia and Great Britain, world powers in track cycling, drove that time down as they ramped up for London. In April 2012, the British trio hit 3:15.720 at the World Championships in Melbourne. The Australian team came in second, and the U.S. finished a distant fifth place with a time of 3:21.765. “We have to make up five or six seconds,” Bausch worries in the film, “which is a lifetime on the track.”

To strengthen the team, Hammer convinced two-time Olympic sprinter Jennie Reed to come out of retirement—the four cyclists would compete in training for the three spots on the team—but their times seemed to go up, not down. They could no longer break 3:20.

While the British track team was busy burning through a budget of $40 million, the American team had next to nothing. “No mechanic, no soigneur, no masseuse,” says Brandon Maddon, Reed’s husband, in the documentary, “Ben [Sharp, the coach], one man on the ground.” The team even had to bring its own toilet paper along to the velodrome they were training at in Mallorca, Spain. And the quartet’s husbands had to quickly learn how to service and tune their partners’ bikes.

Photo: Leslie Rockitter

n desperation, Reed called Sky Christopherson, a former USA Cycling teammate. The year before, after a decade away from competitive cycling, and after suffering a heart attack scare in December 2009, Sky had set a master’s world record, 10.49 seconds, in the 200-meter velodrome sprint. His return to form had been based on a data-driven training approach inspired by Dr. Eric Topol, digital medicine researcher and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. “If you can get the data, big data, on each individual about what makes them tick,” says Topolin the documentary, “that is … going to unlock particular secrets for them.”

Sky and his wife, Tamara, an ex-Olympic kayaker, flew out to Spain. And they also enlisted a ragtag team of volunteers to help out: physicians, a biologist, a geneticist, a sleep scientist, a data scientist, a coder, and even an ex-Navy Seal commander.

That volunteer army recorded the athletes’ blood glucose levels and blood oxygen saturation with medical devices, filmed them to analyze their behavior, monitored their exposure to ambient light and temperature levels, tracked brain waves during sleep, and even sequenced their DNA. “Train, analyze, eat, stretch, massage, train, analyze, eat,” says Kirk Bausch, Dotsie’s husband, on camera. “It was constant.”

The amount of data the team was collecting was overwhelming, though. So Sky reached out to Stefan Groschupf at data analytics firm Datameer. With Groschupf’s help they could process the huge volume of information and search for connections. They found, for example, that the athletes were getting more deep sleep when their bodies were at a lower temperature, and that more deep sleep translated into more power on the track the following day. So they brought in air conditioning units and water-cooled mattresses. “If an athlete can get better deep sleep, that’s where our bodies release human growth hormone and testosterone naturally,” Sky explains in the film. Instead of boosting those chemicals with doping, they used data.

But the experiment didn’t always run smoothly. “We’re doing the same thing and we’re getting slower,” Reed complains in frustration eight weeks out from London. And the documentary shows what it was like to be inside this high-stakes training camp. The four riders were training together to go faster as a collective whole, but only three of them would eventually be picked. Emotions began to fray as that final selection test—three full Olympic race simulations—approached.

In Olympic qualifying everything seemed to go wrong again. Bausch, Hammer, and Reed lost their cohesion and crossed the line separately. But something had stuck from the work in Spain. “They rode the fastest they’ve ever ridden,” says Adam Laurent, a former US track cyclist who had helped advise the team via Skype, in the film. “It’s a national record. It didn’t look pretty at the finish, but they did pretty darn good.” Their 3:19.406 was also good enough for second in the rankings and a semifinal against Australia.

Again things seemed to go wrong in that matchup, at least at first. The team stayed close on the track against Australia, but steadily fell back lap after lap. Then they clicked into a different gear, slowly clawing back the distance lost, and nosing ahead by less than a tenth of a second at the line.

And those silver medals weren’t just the first medals for the women’s track team in two decades, but part of just a handful of cycling medals won by Team USA at London, all by women. Stateside, USA Cycling was in deep trouble. The most recognizable face of the sport for the past decade, Lance Armstrong, was under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. And by providing evidence against Armstrong, former teammates such as Levi Leipheimer and George Hincapie had admitted their own doping records. All of the five men’s road cyclists that went in their place were discretionary picks: none met the automatic qualification criteria. The golden era of U.S. cycling looked like it had been a fake.

Maybe, though, Hammer, Reed, Bausch, and Tamayo had found a silver lining, a route back for USA Cycling, and perhaps other sports too. Personal Gold offers a chance to see what an amateur but high-tech and fair approach could look like. “There’s a better way forward, there’s a new way forward,” Christopherson says near the end of the film, “and it does not include performance enhancing drugs.”

Read More >

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SIFF FILM PREMIERE

"Personal Gold: An Underdog Story" will have it's World Premiere debut at the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival, the largest and highest attended festival in the United States. 

The film showcases the inception of the OAthlete technology project during an exceptional project to help the U.S. Women's Cycling Team at the peak of the Lance Armstrong drug scandal, which saw all top U.S. men's cyclists banned from the 2012 London Olympics. 

Official film website here: http://www.Personal-Gold.com 

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