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Malice at the Palace, Caitlyn Jenner examined in Netflix's 'Untold' docuseries on pivotal sports events

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It has been 45 years this summer since Caitlyn Jenner, then known as Bruce Jenner, crossed the finish line of the 1,500-meter finale of the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Jenner brought decathlon Olympic gold back to the United States with a world-record score, continuing a long legacy of Americans winning the race. And in doing so became an American hero. 

In the nearly five decades since, Jenner went from athletic superstar to "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" reality TV icon to one of the most well-known transgender women in the world. She looks back on that timeline in a new five-part Netflix docuseries, "Untold," examining pivotal and controversial sports moments beyond the headlines. 

The weekly series covers Jenner, the Malice at the Palace, Christy Martin, Mardy Fish and a minor league hockey team with mob ties, Netflix announced last week. It released a trailer for the series on Tuesday. 

The series is produced by Propagate, Stardust Frames and The Players' Tribune. Episodes are directed by Chapman Way, Maclain Way, Floyd Russ, Laura Brownson and Crystal Moselle. The feature on the Malice at the Palace will launch the series on Aug. 10. 

"Sports is a great unifier in our country. It crosses politics. It permeates culture," the Way brothers said in a statement. "We've tried to separate it as its own industry, but just like art and film, it's so pervasive it generates a wide discussion amongst people.

"Over the last decade, there’s been a real sense of athletes being perceived as 'jocks,' people who maybe don’t have a lot of depth or insight. Our experience, coming from the worlds of both sports and film, is that there is amazing complexity and depth to these people that dedicate their life to a sole endeavor." 

Pivotal, controversial sports moments get docuseries

Bruce Jenner
Bruce Jenner brought the Olympic decathlon gold back to the U.S. in 1976. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

The five topics cover a wide range of sports, athletes and major life topics including mental health, domestic violence and the transgender transition. 

"We chose these stories by asking ourselves this question: 'Is this the single most important thing that happened in this person's life?'" the Way brothers said. "And what we've found doing documentaries is if you're sitting down with someone and the event that you are interviewing them about was the most pivotal and important thing that happened to them, you are going to walk away with really fascinating insights into their lives, that have a sense of a narrative built in — a beginning, middle and end. 

"One interesting through line in almost all of these stories is that at that crucial moment, something that they learned in the dogged pursuit of becoming a professional athlete segued into something that happened off the field or off the court or off the ice in their real life and we’re getting to hear it directly from their perspective."

Jenner's episode, simply titled "Caitlyn Jenner," goes back to 1976 and describes her mindset in Montreal and how she won the gold. Jenner also discusses transitioning into a transgender woman and her relationship with her children. It includes new footage from the games, Netflix said, and home videos from the Jenner family. 

"Malice at the Palace," the initial episode of the series, will include never-before-seen footage, Netflix said, while examining the events of Nov. 19, 2004 in Detroit.

Christy Martin, known as "The Coal Miner's Daughter," was on top of the boxing world as a trailblazing female in the sport, but struggled with substance abuse, domestic violence and an attack by her husband/coach. "Deal with the Devil" tells her story with additional insight from boxers Mike Tyson and Laila Ali as well as her ex-husband, Jim Martin. Martin was convicted of attempted murder and is speaking for the first time since going to prison. 

There's also the story of the Danbury Thrashers, a UHL team run by a 17-year-old son of a mob boss who was obsessed with "The Mighty Ducks." The team set a record for penalty minutes in 2004, though the FBI eventually shut it all down. 

The final episode details tennis star Mardy Fish's struggles with anxiety and mental health, which led to his withdrawal from the 2012 U.S. Open quarterfinal match against Roger Federer. He has since gone public with his struggles and is working to destigmatize anxiety and help other athletes through mental health issues. 

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