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Why the Winner in You Needs to Watch Netflix’s ‘Losers’

The show, a must-watch for hustlers and grinders, reveals testimonies of turning defeat into personal victories

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Netflix

Netflix's docuseries Losers has been taking viewers into another realm of in-depth sports content since debuting on March 1. Award-winning director Mickey Duzyj captured the story of eight athletes who experienced defeat and the long-term impact that failure has had on their lives after disappointing loved ones and a plethora of their fans.

 

In eight separate episodes, eight former athletes—including a heavyweight champion boxer, a figure skating pioneer, an ultra-competitive endurance runner and a dogsled racer—spill their emotions about the memorable setbacks they faced during the prime of their careers and the lessons they learned in the aftermath. 

The perfect lyrics to describe this sports series is from late R&B singer Aaliyah: "And if at first you don't succeed/Then dust yourself off and try again." These encouraging words, from her hit single "Try Again," can be served as the tasty appetizer to prepare everyday hustlers and grinders for "Losers," Netflix's main dish served "well-done." 

 

What Netflix reveals with "Losers" is that, sometimes, champions in sports and in life aren't always made from dominating every moment; champions can be made from egos being bruised in defeat and the subsequent fight to get back up after being knocked down. After all, there's no better feeling of climbing to the top of your game after starting from the bottom. 

 

The most amazing thing about this series is that there's an episode for each person who is battling a certain issue in their growth to be better than they were yesterday.

Having Issues Living Out Your Own Truth?

In episode one ("The Outcast Champion"), former WBO heavyweight champion Michael Bentt discusses his journey of becoming successful at something he had no desire initially pursuing. While becoming one of the nations most decorated boxing champions of all-time, Bentt had to endure abuse from his father, who believed he could live out his boxing dreams through his son.

 

From getting beaten with a TV antenna after telling his dad he didn't want to box anymore to almost committing suicide, Bentt opens up about being a bruised champion who wanted to create a legacy of his own. It wasn't until his first title defense—where he lost to Herbie Hide and suffered brain injuries—that he realized there was an escape from regret and disappointment. Bentt found refuge in the entertainment industry, where he wrote stories for legendary boxing journalist Burt Sugar and portrayed "Sonny" Liston in the Ali biopic. Bentt landed a triumphant come-from-behind TKO in life and demonstrated that being knocked down can be a good thing in the long run.

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Battling With Defying Authority?

Episode three ("Judgement") is a beautiful testimony of how being defiant builds courage for the next generation. Figure skating great Surya Bonaly often finished in the top 5 in almost every major figure skating competition because of her athleticism and amazing ability to put together thrilling combinations, but she often didn't finish in first place because the judges believed she didn't have the "look" of a figure skating champion. Case in point: During the 1993 World Championships, she took home the silver medal, performing seven triples, a triple-triple combination and two triple lutzes. Meanwhile, Ukraine's Oksana Baiul took home the gold medal after only executing five triples and no combinations. 

This trend of her unfairly being critiqued by the judges frustrated her to the point she had enough and decided to do something many felt was unheard of. In the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Surya became the first woman ever to land a backflip in her short program routine. Backflips in figure skating were banned in 1976, so as a result, the move negatively affected her score, but many fans and fellow Olympians admired her defiant will to not let judges discredit her capabilities. She went on to tour with Champions On Ice. Refusing to bow down to the normalities of figure skating, Surya became a champion for the underappreciated talents to stand out rather than fit in.

Craving for a Change?

The fan-favorite among Netflix viewers is episode four ("Stone Cold"). An epic tale so dramatic that it should be turned into a movie, this episode focuses on two Canadian curling greats who have redefined the way the sport is played today. 

 

Al "The Iceman" Hackner etched his name in sports history by pulling off unbelievably clutch performances such as the "Al Hackner double" to help him win the 1985 Briar, fending off archrival Pat Ryan. After the close defeat, Ryan recruited talented players to form "Ryan Express," and it changed the way curling was played forever. His strategy was to knock off as many of the opponents' rocks in each set, which led to low scoring games. It was efficient yet unentertaining and fans often yelled "boring" during matches. Still, this gave Ryan a sense of excitement and pleasure because it helped him win and forced officials to take notice. 

Ryan's technique forced a new rule, known as the "free guard zone," to be implemented. Even though the rule brought back the excitement to the game, Ryan felt fulfilled because he dominated so efficiently that a rule had to be introduced to the sport. Ryan's effort to push the boundaries to win shows grinders everywhere that if you want change to come, you must be the change yourself.

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