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PRESS PICTURES: A TO B ROLLERSKI
In 1988, Raimonds Dombrovskis began the longest training run of his biathlon career. Accompanied by his dog, Bucis, and a VW Bulli full of equipment, he set out to cover 6,700 kilometers on rollerskis, from Canada’s far north to the Mexican border. The gravel roads are bumpy, the leggings are skintight, and the outcome of the project is highly uncertain. But the winds of change are blowing—not only in the streets of North America but also in Raimonds’s Latvian homeland. He is convinced that the collapse of the Soviet Union is imminent. His dream is to compete for the Latvian (not the Soviet!) biathlon team at the next Olympic Winter Games... but first, he has to make it to Mexico.
PRESS PICTURES: VIACRUXIS
There are times when a mountaineering expedition turns into an absolute nightmare—even if you reach the summit and sometimes because of it. Fortunately, our two stalwart mountaineers are unaware of what lies ahead of them on this tour. They wordlessly fight their way through snow and ice but never lose sight of their target, even through the thickest fog and falling rocks. Just as the summit photo op comes into view, their expedition takes an unexpected turn. Viacruxis is a thoughtfully animated stop-motion film about the obstacles one must face on the mountain— big and small.
PRESS PICTURES: NORTH OF NIGHTFALL
Axel Heiberg Island is Canada's seventh largest island and lies north of the Arctic Circle. In winter, it is cloaked in total darkness and completely blanketed by snow and ice. But when the sun rises again, the island flourishes, revealing its rocky landscape crisscrossed by mighty glaciers and offering the most spectacular mountain bike terrain. It’s no wonder Darren Berrecloth, Carson Storch, Cam Zink, and Tom van Steenbergen can't resist the endless descents.
PRESS PICTURES: THE FRENCHY
"No problem!" Anyone who hears Jacques Houot's life story will be surprised at how the 82-year-old has managed to reach this age. There were at least 23 times in his life when he could have met his end all too early. Somehow, he has always managed to land on his feet and keep going. Today, Jacques spends most of his time in the mountains near his home in Carbondale (Colorado). No mountain bike trail and no ski slope is safe from the likes of this native Frenchman. Jacques Houot loves life and he lets everyone know it.
PRESS PICTURES: THE A.O.
Adam Ondra is one of the most successful and versatile sport climbers of our time. He successfully climbed the most difficult route in the world, now called Silence, and established a new level of difficulty—9c. The Czech climber has also shown what he can do when it comes to big wall climbing; he ascended the Dawn Wall in just eight days—on his very first trip to Yosemite. His strong, lean body seems to effortlessly transcend gravity. But is it simply Adam’s muscle power and endurance that enables him to conquer the most difficult routes? Or is it his mental strength that drives him climb an 8a while blindfolded? We find out more about the forces that drive this climbing talent to new heights in The A.O.
PRESS PICTURES: 8000+
In July 2016, the paraglider Antoine Girard set off on a three-week hike-and-fly tour to explore the Karakorum mountains in Pakistan—alone. From the town of Skardu, he heads for the highest peaks of the Karakorum mountain range. The Frenchman has already twice failed in his attempts to climb the 8,051-meter-high Broad Peak and paraglide from the summit down into the valley. Now, his hope is that the upwinds will carry him and his chute to the summit—and possibly beyond. If he succeeds, he will set a new altitude record in paragliding, but the air is thin between the 8,000-meter peaks, and take-offs and landings are extremely tricky. Especially when you only have one person to rely on—yourself.
PRESS PICTURES: MBUZI DUME - STRONG GOAT
'Mbuzi Dume' is Swahili and means 'strong goat'. It's the nickname given to Tom Belz on his Kilimanjaro climb by his African mountain guide. The difference is that this 'strong goat' has climbed the mountain not on four but on three legs; more precisely—on one leg and two crutches. Tom's left leg was amputated when he was just eight years old, and since then, he has perfected his technique on crutches. Nevertheless, until recently, he wouldn't have dreamed of travelling to Kilimanjaro and experiencing a sunrise at an altitude of 5895 metres, and he certainly would not have imagined that he'd be sharing this adventure with Dr. Klaus Siegler, the man who saved his life 23 years ago. For both men, climbing Kilimanjaro symbolises the challenges in life that everyone must surmount.
PRESS PICTURES: FROZEN MIND
Chamonix, France. Here, steep and challenging descents await Victor de le Rue and Pierre Hourticq. Whether on a snowboard or skis, narrow crevasses, vast icefields, and wind speeds of up to 60 km/h might not sound inviting but actually the fun is just getting started! And because there is still time to build a kicker, a shovel is a necessary part of these guys' freeride equipment.