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An Enhanced Games documentary is coming to really ruffle some feathers

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It hasn’t begun yet, but the Enhanced Games is already the most controversial sporting event of all time. And the build-up to the event is set to be the focus of a new docu-series, powered by Hollywood heavy hitters.

For years, the Enhanced Games have been murmured about, considered a distant pipe dream of a select few and further from reality than the sun to Pluto. That’s far from the case anymore. In the opening stanza of 2024, the competition picked up immense steam, with support from a former Australian Olympian, and now looks set to take place in 2025.

As is the case in modern life, where content is everything and everything is content, the Enhanced Games is producing a documentary around the Games. Having recently put the call out, the competition’s organisers are after athletes to participate in the docu-series and subsequently the Games.

Think of it as Netflix’s Icarus, which uncovered mass systemic doping by Russia at various Olympics, meets The Last Dance. Regardless of your stance on the Games, it’s difficult to admit the insight into the science of doping and potential stresses faced by the athletes chasing the millions on offer for succeeding at the Enhanced Games won’t make for captivating viewing.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Enhanced Games documentary.

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The Enhanced Games documentary: Key details

What’s there to know?

Admittedly at this stage, not much. Other than the fact the Games and documentary are in the works, supported by a single athlete and a pair of heavy-hitting production companies, few details exist on the Enhanced Games documentary.

Australian swimmer, James Magnussen, dubbed the Missile for his near-unrivalled speed through the water at his peak and the first athlete to throw their hands up for the Enhanced Games, put a call out on his Instagram for athletes to follow his lead, sign up for the Games and feature in the documentary.

enhanced games, james magnussen
Australian swimmer James Magnussen

Magnussen stressed the Games aren’t simply ‘another sporting event’ but rather a ‘revolution’ presenting athletes with a chance to ‘push their limits, break barriers and rewrite the history books.’

He said the Games are after athletes who ‘aren’t afraid to push the envelope and redefine what it means to be a competitor.’

The former 100-metre freestyle invited former and current athletes to apply to be part of both the documentary and the Games, with his message indicating cameras would follow the athletes throughout their training and competition at the Games.

According to the Games’ website, Ridley Scott Associates and Rob McElhenney’s More Better Productions will produce the documentary. McElhenney’s, co-owner of Wrexham AFC with fellow Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds, explained his company’s involvement in the project.

“From the moment we discovered this competition was in the works, we knew this deserved a deep exploration through a thoughtful docuseries lens,” he explained.

McElhenney knows all too well about the power of a well-shot and well-produced docu-series. His Wrexham outfit has exploded into one of football’s most famous sides despite plying their trade in the fourth tier of English football.

Their popularity has been bred through Welcome to Wrexham, a behind-the-scenes Disney+ documentary. In its third season, the series exposed Wrexham, their A-list owners and fans, to a world monumentally larger than a small central Wales town.

Away from sport, the documentary will undoubtedly raise and unpack questions of morality, particularly focusing on whether the Games are encouraging doping as a viable and worthwhile means of achieving genuine sporting greatness or simply acting as an exhibition event truly testing the assisted limits of human potential.

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What are the Enhanced Games?

Born from the mind of Australian businessman, Aron D’Souza, the Enhanced Games answers an age-old question asked by many sporting fans, particularly during the Olympics: Yeah, they’re fast, but how fast would they be if they were on steroids?

The Enhanced Games will look to answer this, providing 10 athletes a platform to utilise performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), if they choose to, to break the world record in their event of choice.

Naturally, the record will not be officially recognised, although successful competitors at the Games will see their efforts rewarded by prize money exceeding US $1 million, far more than many would’ve earned during their storied careers.

Magnussen, for example, will be looking to break the 50-metre freestyle world record when he competes at the Games. According to D’Souza, more than 900 athletes have registered their interest in the games, with the financial rewards of the competition seemingly too irresistible for them to ignore.

Many strongly oppose the Games, citing health concerns as their primary objective. Historically speaking, doping has led to harm to those who undertake such programs, with complications to their heart, among other organs, common.

Former Australian Olympic gold medallist and current CEO of the Australian Sports Commission, Kieren Perkins, labelled the competition ‘laughable’,

“Someone will die if we allow that sort of environment to prosper and flourish,” he stressed. Perkins’ voice isn’t alone in calling out the dangers posed by the Games, with many prominent global sporting figures denouncing the Games.

However, D’Souza believes competing athletes, such as Magnussen, have ‘the potential to show what the human body, improved through science, is truly capable of.’

Improved by science is the core element of the competition’s mission, with D’Souza explaining the organisation has enlisted a team of science and medical professionals, led by Harvard professor George Church, with a strict remit to ensure the competition’s conditions are as safe as possible for athletes like Magnussen.

Enhanced Games
Could the Enhanced Games cause a similar level of sporting disruption as LIV Golf?

As part of this commitment to competitor health and safety, the athletes competing at the Enhanced Games will have their health screened daily, while their program will be ‘clinically supervised and only using compounds approved by the FDA.’

For his part, once the competition’s dates are confirmed Magnussen explained he would submit himself to a medical examination assessing his ‘levels every single hormone, where my body’s at, checking on any little niggling injuries.’

He added he desires to ‘document a way to do this properly,’ perhaps hinting at some of the Enhanced Games documentary’s content.

Aside from emphasising the importance of athlete safety during the Games’ build-up and competition, supporters of the Enhanced Games cite the prominence of doping in modern sports as a justification for their feats.

Notably, Lance Armstrong, seven-time winner of the Tour de France, admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during the peak of his career, resulting in his Tour de France titles being stripped from him.

Additionally, a 2011 study from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) conducted on 2167 athletes found a 44% prevalence of previous-year doping, while Russia’s history of systemic doping has been well documented.

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In addition to providing athletes with a platform to test their physical limits, the Games will offer a ‘fair remuneration structure,’ according to its website. For Olympic athletes, many of whom earn financial peanuts for their greatness, the chance to earn additional income could prove alluring, meaning the Games could have a similar impact on the Olympics as LIV Golf on the golfing world. in the same way

Picture of Kyle Robbins
Kyle Robbins
Kyle is a senior sports writer and producer at Only Sports who lives and breathes sport, with a particular burning passion for everything soccer, rugby league, and cricket. You’ll most commonly find him getting overly hopeful about the Bulldogs and Chelsea’s prospects. Find Kyle on LinkedIn.

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