SPORTS
05/03/2016 05:43 pm ET Updated Jul 26, 2016

The Most Inspiring Olympians Aren't Always The Ones Who Win Gold Medals

For those from developing countries, the Olympics are about more than medals and glory.

Not every Olympian reaches the fame and glory of a Michael Phelps, but in the new documentary “A Fighting Chance,” it’s the little-known athletes that are getting the spotlight. 

While filming, director Morgan Neville traveled to South Africa, Vanuatu and the Dominican Republic to hear stories from three athletes training for the upcoming summer Olympic games in Rio, Brazil.

“So many developing nations start at such a huge disadvantage ... they don’t have any resources,” he told HuffPost Rise. “In the Dominican [Republic], for instance, at the boxing training facility there, where their punching bags are being held together by duct tape, you realize that these are people that just have incredible spirit.”  

While filming footage of the athletes’ “arduous” journeys, Neville said he realized that those in the West “take a lot of our Olympic support for granted.” Oftentimes, Olympians from developing countries are working with much less, but have hopes just as high. 

“The stakes are so much higher for these other athletes. For them, it’s really about what kind of a future they’re going to have. How’s their family going to do? Even: How are they going to survive?” he said. “So, in a way, they are doing their sports as a chance out of, in many cases, extreme poverty ... For them, it’s really a chance to have a better future. It’s not just glory.” 

Learn more about “A Fighting Chance” in the video above.  

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