Two volleyball movies — Lang Ping and the men’s game in America — make debuts this week

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Volleyball documentary movies 5/31/2020-the Iron Hammer-Jenny Lang Ping
Jenny Lang Ping coaching China against the USA in 2015/Ed Chan, VBShots.com

Two volleyball documentary movies are coming out this week, one about Chinese legend Jenny Lang Ping called “The Iron Hammer,” and the other about men’s volleyball in America called “Match Point: the Rise of Men’s Volleyball.”

USA Volleyball is involved with the first airings of both.

From USA Volleyball about The Iron Hammer, which can be seen on Thursday:

Lang Ping, who coached the U.S. Olympic Women’s Team to silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, will be the subject of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Channel original documentary titled The Iron Hammer in reference to her nickname picked up as a young player.
The Iron Hammer will premiere on June 7 as an official selection of the “We Are One: A Global Film Festival”, which takes place on YouTube from May 29 to June 7. Organized by Tribeca enterprises, all funds raised by the festival benefits the COVID-19 solidarity relief fund for the World Health Organization (WHO). The film will launch to worldwide audiences on the IOC’s Olympic Channel global digital platform later this year.
The 99-minute documentary chronicles the legendary Lang Ping, who won gold as a player representing China at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. She became a national symbol to China’s rise in international sports. She later became a trailblazing coach for Team USA and China. Along with leading the Americans to Olympic silver on her native soil in China, Lang Ping successfully guided the Chinese to silver at 1996 Atlanta Games and gold at the 2016 Rio Games to become the only person to guide a team to Olympic gold as both a player and coach.

The men’s movie is a production by students in the Ball State University department of journalism. From Match Point, whose movie can be seen on Monday on USA Volleyball’s Facebook page:

The documentary follows the United States Men’s Volleyball National Team Head Coach John Speraw, collegiate coach Nickie Sanlin, and youth club director Ed Wrather on a journey through the state of men’s volleyball across the country. Along with several others, they discuss the opportunities men’s volleyball is presenting to the youth of America, the problems that the sport is facing, and the goals of the Olympic qualifying U.S. Men’s National Team. The opportunities and problems within diverse and underserved communities in America is a highlighted point of interest within the film.  

Our previous stories covering volleyball on film: part 1 (Spiker, Miracle Season, and Girls with Balls), part 2 (Top Gun, Cloud 9, Miles), part 3 (Side Out, Impact Point, Air Bud Spikes Back), and part 4 (Beach Kings, All You’ve Got, and Kill Shot).

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