When you strip away everything, as NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” tends to, what remains is a show about inspiration.
The regular trainers are more than skilled at inspiring their teams, even if screaming sometimes passes for motivating. But the two-hour episode airing Tuesday, Jan. 14, takes inspiration to new heights when the contestants train at Olympic Park in Park City, Utah.
Apolo Anton Ohno reminds how he was top of his game at 14 and dead last at 15.
“The high performance mechanism is from here to here,” Ohno tells Zap2it, pointing to each side of his head.
U.S. curling team members Jessica Schultz, Debbie McCormick and Anne Swisshelm teach contestants how to curl, while U.S. bobsled team members Lolo Jones and Jazmine Fenlator give tips about their sport.
The contestants, however, have to run up the bobsled track. Bob Harper designs an Olympic-inspired workout, and Jillian Michaels tries to help a contestant struggling with her confidence. Trainer Dolvett Quince says the Olympians inspire him.
“What is so motivating to the contestants is they were dealing with an athlete at that level,” Quince says. He pauses, then awestruck, says, “An eight-time gold medal winner! You appreciate the work you put in because the work is highlighted in your face. Working with someone like Apolo was amazing.”
“When you work with someone like that who knows what it means to sacrifice — I don’t care what you do for a living, whatever your story is — people always respect someone who is healthy and takes care of themselves. There is a level of respect that warrants and I get that from him,” Quince says.
Training at Olympic Park is similar to training at the show’s ranch.
“It is tedious,” Quince says. “It is specific. There is a regime you have to follow in order to be successful, the constant repetitions in order to reach a goal. You are always in search of improvement. If that doesn’t say Olympic athlete, what does?”