Women's Gymnastics

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Georgia-Alabama Gymnastics Rivalry To Be Featured On ESPN Films
Suzanne Yoculan

Suzanne Yoculan
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April 23, 2014

Click here to watch a trailer for the film.

ATHENS-----The Georgia-Alabama gymnastics rivalry will be the subject of ESPN Films' next SEC Storied documentary scheduled to premiere Wednesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

"Sarah and Suzanne" will recount the careers of former Georgia head coach Suzanne Yoculan and current Alabama coach Sarah Patterson, who built two of the most successful gymnastics programs in the country at their respective institutions. Georgia and Alabama have combined to win 16 NCAA titles and 24 SEC crowns.

The film will re-air Wednesday at 10 p.m.


ESPN Press Release
By Jennifer Cingari

ESPN Films’ next SEC Storied documentary, “Sarah & Suzanne,” will premiere Wednesday, April 30, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU. The 60-minute film chronicles the paths of two Southeastern Conference gymnastics coaches who, while simultaneously building their programs and experiencing great success, elevated the level of competition and created an extraordinary rivalry in college sports.

“Sarah & Suzanne” will lead into the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championship at 8 p.m., also on ESPNU. Both Georgia and Alabama participated in the Championships, which was held in Birmingham this past weekend. The film will then re-air at 10 p.m.

When Alabama’s Sarah Patterson and Georgia’s Suzanne Yoculan arrived on their respective campuses, both programs were on the verge of folding. The Crimson Tide and the Gym Dogs were having little success, and Patterson and Yoculan were brought in to help salvage what was left. What no one could have guessed at the time is that not only would the two programs become the best in the nation, but the coaches would become pioneers and mavericks of the sport forever. In the 25 years that Yoculan and Patterson coached against each other, they filled arenas with passionate fans while winning a combined 21 SEC Championships and 14 NCAA titles.

“Sarah & Suzanne,” directed by Joie Jacoby, is the story of two women dominating college gymnastics, while creating one of the most heated rivalries in SEC history. Together, within the intensity of this rivalry, they built two championship programs and changed how many people perceived college gymnastics.

Jacoby is an Emmy Award-winning director and producer. Among her work for ESPN: “Return to Mexico City,” a film about the intersection of the 1968 Olympics and the civil rights movement; “The Dewey Bozella Story,” a story about a boxer who was wrongfully convicted of murder; and “The Thomas Family,” which explored a small football town and one family’s courage to forgive one another after a tragic murder. “Sarah & Suzanne” is produced by Rockwell Films.

About SEC Storied

ESPN Films launched the SEC Storied documentary series in September 2011, presenting fans the opportunity to explore the rich athletic history of the Southeastern Conference. From extraordinary athletes and coaches to defining games and moments, the Storied series features films that focus on the SEC’s recent and more distant past. In August, the franchise will expand to ten documentaries a year with the launch of the SEC Network.

About ESPN Films

Created in March 2008, ESPN Films produces high-quality films showcasing some of the most compelling stories in sports.  In October 2009, ESPN Films launched the Peabody Award-winning, Producer’s Guild Award-winning and Emmy-nominated 30 for 30 film series. Inspired by ESPN’s 30th Anniversary, the films that made up the series were a thoughtful and innovative reflection on the past three decades told through the lens of diverse and interesting sports fans and social commentators.  The strong reaction from both critics and fans led to the launch of 30 for 30 Volume II, which is currently underway.  Additional projects from ESPN Films include the critically acclaimed Nine for IX series, SEC Storied and the webby award winning 30 for 30 Shorts.

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