Rising Phoenix Review

Rising Phoenix Review

Gavin Folco, J1 reporter

A Netflix documentary full of world class athletes with physical and mental disabilities is touching and motivating at the same time. 

The 2016Paralympicswere held in Rio de Janeiro and is beginning to become a more talked about sporting event. Netflix just recently released the documentary Rising Phoenix to share some of the athletes’ stories and to bring more awareness to the national sporting event. One of the more motivating stories was about long-jumper, Jean-Baptiste Alaize, who represented France for the Paralympics. Alaize suffered through the Burundian Civil War, which was the Civil War between the Hutsies and the Tutsies. While he and his mother were trying to escape, they were captured. Alaize had his leg chopped off by a machete and then watched his mother murdered in front of him. He was found, taken to the hospital and survived despite his wounds. He was only three years old at the time. Alaize used this as motivation, and in 2016, he came in 5th in long jump only centimeters short from winning the bronze medal. 

Another touching story was about archer Matt Stutzman. He was born without arms, and his parents and doctors did not know how he was going to function in life, but that did not stop Strutzman. At an early age, he learned to drive with his feet. He did this because cars did not discriminate against him and he was really good at it. Strutsman learned how to eat and write with his feet, and he participated in archery during the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics. He won a silver medal at the 2012 Paralympics and came up one point short at the 2016 Paralympics. Strutzman, who represented the U.S. continues sharpening his shot to win gold at the 2020 Paralympics.

With this documentary, Netflix brought more recognition to athletes with mental and physical disabilities. What these athletes have gone through as children and the hard work they have to do to get to where they are is incredible. This is now the most motivating show to watch on Netflix, especially for athletes.