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LAST ONE STANDING on The Discovery Channel

Press Release   Photos   Film Clips  Competitor Bios


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WORLD-CLASS ATHLETES COMPETE IN THRILLING GLOBAL CULTURAL COMPETITIONS IN DISCOVERY CHANNEL’S LAST ONE STANDING

-- Series Launches in October --

(Silver Spring, Md.) – In the thrilling new Discovery Channel series LAST ONE STANDING, six athletes – three American and three British – are immersed in the most remote tribes in the world, where they live alongside and train with indigenous tribesmen as they prepare to represent their host tribe in raw and intense competition. From death-defying Zulu stick fighting in South Africa to an arduous foot race in the Mexican mountains—wearing only handmade sandals—these men push their physical and mental limits to see who really is the last warrior standing. This new 12-part series premieres Thursday, October 4, 2007 at 9 PM ET/PT.

The diverse group of athletes are at the top of their game—there is a BMX rider, a strongman competitor, an Oxford University sportsman, a hiker and endurance athlete, a kickboxer and a British all-rounder and fitness professional. Together they compete in an array of tribal games and rite of passage ceremonies, where competition is frequently a metaphor for war. Completely immersed in a tribal culture, the adventurers live among the village warriors to train and prepare for the battle that lies ahead—no concessions are made.

Will the sprinter be able to keep up in the long-distance running competitions held by the remote Tarahumara Indians across punishing terrain in northern Mexico? Will the Florida BMX’er (who had never before left the United States) stand a chance against the fierce Kalapalo wrestlers in Brazil? Will any of the six make a showing endurance canoeing in Papua, New Guinea?

LAST ONE STANDING gives a view into parts of the world removed from civilization. The competitors travel to Kalapalo, Brazil (wrestling); Zulu, South Africa (stick fighting); Tarahumara, Mexico (endurance running); Mongolia (wrestling); Trobriand Islands (tribal cricket); Sumi, Nagaland (Akikiti kickboxing); Senegal (wrestling); Papua, New Guinea (canoe racing); Brazil (Kraha log racing); Peru (glacial challenge); Java (martial arts); and Vanuatu (canoe racing).

Competitors are:
Rajko, 29 – British All-Rounder and Ex-World Record Holder
Jason, 21 – Florida State BMX Champion, 2006
Richard, 21 – Oxford University Sportsman — Cricket, Rugby and Croquet
Brad, 28 – American Pro Lightweight Strongman
Mark, 26 – British Salsa Dancer and Kickboxer
Corey, 22 – Hiker and Endurance Athlete

The six athletes are from dramatically different regions and cultures themselves and, while forced to compete against each other, they also formed an unlikely brotherhood. For most of them, the journey was spiritual and emotional as well as a competition. As Corey from Alaska observes, “We came into this as a competition—we put on our game faces during the matches. But as soon as we’re done with that, we’re family.” As well, the competitors formed strong bonds with their host tribal families. Brad from Oklahoma remarks of the Mongolian villagers, “They took us in like family and treated us like their adopted sons.”

Not only were the athletes expected to compete in a sport they only just learned, but they were also faced with language barriers, health issues and culture shock. “The toughest part for me was the lack of proper nutrition,” claimed Strongman Brad. “I couldn’t get enough fuel and energy to compete at a peak level.” And culture shock set in during the Brazilian rite of passage in which piranha teeth were scraped on the athletes’ legs and the open wounds were rubbed with salt and chillies. “It was searingly painful,” recalls Richard. “The scraping was bad enough, but the chillies brought a new level of pain. However, it made me feel integrated and was a great boost before the competition.”

LAST ONE STANDING is a joint production with the BBC. BBC executive producer is Gary Hunter. Mary Donahue is executive producer for Discovery Channel.

About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications is the number-one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Through TV and digital media, Discovery's 100-plus worldwide networks include Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, The Science Channel, Discovery Health and Discovery HD Theater. Discovery Communications is owned by Discovery Holding Co. (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, Discovery's founder and chairman. For more information please visit www.discoverycommunications.com .

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Film Clips

Mongolian Wrestling Outfits - New!

Testicle Soup - New!

Bathroom in Mongolia - New

Brad & Mark discuss culture clip

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Competitor Bios:

RAJKO
BRITISH ALL-ROUNDER AND EX-WORLD RECORD HOLDER.

Rajko Radovic is a musician and fitness professional. He’s played college-level volleyball and basketball in both the U.K. and United States, but cares just as much about writing songs and performing on stage. He never travels anywhere without his guitar.

Rajko’s goal is to perfect himself—in mind, spirit and body. He used both his physical and mental strength to break a world record in endurance dumbbell curls.

He never enters anything without believing he can win, and his combination of strength and aerobic fitness makes him a powerful all-around competitor. A self-professed mental toughness makes him an especially dangerous competitor. He’s in LAST MAN STANDING to prove he can beat anyone—both his fellow competitors and local tribes.

At 29 he’s the “big brother” of the team. And Rajko’s strong spiritual beliefs and soul-searching often have a deep impact on his fellow travellers.

JASON
FLORIDA STATE BMX CHAMPION, 2006

Jason Bennett makes his living cutting trees in his native Florida, but his passion is BMX racing. He’s one of the best, and is hoping one day to make the Olympic squad.

Jason took up BMX as a teenager to escape the pain of a family break-up…and also the fights in which he was finding himself. Part of the reason he participated in LAST MAN STANDING was to discover how families live around the world, untouched by so many of the pressures he grew up with in his home town of Sarasota.

The youngest of the athletes, Jason turned 21 years old during the production of LAST MAN STANDING. He’s one of the fittest, fastest and strongest. BMX training has given him an awesome explosive power, and, like Rajko, he’s difficult to beat in most sports—especially since he comes from the “if you can’t beat, cheat” school of sport. And it’s Rajko who he looks to as a big brother…and who is also his biggest rival.

RICHARD
OXFORD UNIVERSITY SPORTSMAN—CRICKET, RUGBY AND CROQUET

At 21, Richard Massey is the same age as Jason, but has grown up in a very different world of country houses, boarding schools and Oxford University. As well as competing at the college and university level, Richard has completed a degree in theology and is likely to go on to study law after LAST MAN STANDING.

As a sportsman, Richard plays firmly by the rules, and he wants to compete against the best to prove that just because he’s from a privileged background, he’s not as soft as he might look.

Richard’s academic background gives him a particular interest in the cultural activities and beliefs of other societies, and in LAST MAN STANDING he’s looking forward to “throwing himself blindly” into tribal activities.

The lightest of all the athletes, his best chances will come in sports involving technique and aerobic fitness, especially if rugby, cricket or croquet is part of the mix. But he’s more than willing to give his best shot at anything involving fighting.

BRAD
AMERICAN PRO LIGHTWEIGHT STRONGMAN

Bradley Johnson is one of the top lightweight strongmen in America—and for Brad, “light” means a little less than 240 lbs of pure muscle. There are few things he can’t lift, shift or throw. And he’s out to show just what strongmen can do!

Until he joined the team of LAST MAN STANDING, Brad, 28, had never travelled out of the United States. He had no cell phone, no passport, not even a credit card. Now, he wants to discover what being a man is really about in tribes around the world. He’s sure of one thing: with his dreadlocks, tattoos and sheer scale, no one will have seen anyone like him before.

Brad is the only married athlete. He lives in Oklahoma with his wife and baby. All his life he’s dreamt of being a superhero, and now he has a chance to make his little girl proud of him.

Brad is tough to beat in any strength event. But endurance is another matter—that’s where he’s going to have to dig deep and tell himself, “My body wants to give up, but I’m not listening. I’m Brad.”

MARK
BRITISH SALSA DANCER AND KICKBOXER

By day Mark Hoban is a project manager for a construction company. By night he’s a ruthless competitor—on the dance floor and in the ring.

Mark, 26, proclaims that he’s “pretty good at just about anything he does.” And as a sportsman, he believes his speed and aggression will prepare him for most tribal events.

But if being both a dancer and a fighter sounds like a contradiction, Mark’s complexities don’t end there. On the surface he appears to be the joker of the team, often ready with a one-liner. But deep inside he’s only recently realized what is really driving him to compete so hard: Mark’s still trying to make his father proud—even though his father died unexpectedly eight years ago.

COREY
HARVARD NATURALIST AND SKIER

Corey Rennell is a Harvard student with a passion for the outdoors. At school, he’s studying biology and geology. When he’s off duty he’s running, climbing or skiing.

At 22, Corey has lived a life chasing his fears. His goal is always to push himself one step further than anywhere he’s been before. On LAST MAN STANDING, Corey thinks he has the background to win. Growing up in Alaska, he’s accustomed to living close to nature and thrives on cold weather and high altitudes. And the opportunity to travel and live with tribes will enable this intellectual to read “a few more pages of the book of life.”

Physically he’s by far the best endurance athlete on the team, and he wears his intelligence on his sleeve. But when it comes to strength events, he might face difficulties.
 

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Updated 10/16/07  

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