Heading to the real ‘Hills’ 

New 10-part reality drama to feature national snowboard team members in Whistler and international locales

click to enlarge On-Hill, On-Air Kimiko Zakreski is just one of the riders featured in the upcoming 10-part TV series, "Over The Bolts."
  • On-Hill, On-Air Kimiko Zakreski is just one of the riders featured in the upcoming 10-part TV series, "Over The Bolts."

Watching pro snowboarders hit the pipe or ride big mountain can be a pretty awe-inspiring experience, but have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes?

Well, now everyone will be able to see the hard work and drama that unfolds during training and touring as part of Canada’s national snowboard team.

MTV released a one-hour television special, “Summer Sessions,” earlier this month, profiling riders competing our own backyard to become members of the Canadian National Snowboard team. But if you missed the show, you’ll still have a chance to check it out, because MTV is turning the concept into a 10-part television series, entitled “Over The Bolts.’

Don Young is executive producer of features for Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, which includes Canadian broadcasters like CTV and MTV.

The series is a collaborative effort between three organizations: the Media Consortium, MTV and the Canadian Snowboard Federation (CSF). MTV approached the Media Consortium to see if they would be interested in expanding on “Summer Sessions” and creating a “multi-million dollar” series.

“They came to see me about three or four months ago and they said, ‘look, we’re doing this ‘Summer Sessions,’ and we think there’s a bigger, longer, sexier more dramatic story here,” Young said.

Young and his colleagues loved the concept, which sees crews traveling with the athletes and coaches to see the preparation, and drama, that happens between events.

“We have complete access to the team — the coaches, the administration,” Young added. “The camera is going to go behind the scenes when they decide who’s going to compete in which event — who makes it and who doesn’t.”

They also contacted the CSF to ensure they could give crews the behind-the-scenes access necessary to produce the show. The CSF was happy to oblige.

“They love it — they see this as an opportunity to get unprecedented exposure and the audience levels that we’re anticipating for the Games and the pre-Games coverage, its going to be like nothing ever before,” Young said.

Young speculates that hockey, figure skating and snowboarding will be the three highlight sports of the Games, and believes that “Over the Bolts” will definitely help boost the popularity of snowboarding.

“It’s a real commitment to the snowboarding team. It’s the first time anything like this has been done on this scale, and we’re going to have cameras travel around the world with the folks who are competing for positions on the team for the next year.

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