Imagine working your entire life for one single goal, to win an Olympic Gold Medal. Along the way, you become the world’s best wrestler. And then, due to circumstances playing out on a global stage, your dream is suddenly snatched from you…changing your life forever. This penetrating documentary explores the rise of one of the countries greatest Olympic athletes of all time, wrestling legend Lee Kemp. The film chronicles Lee’s enthralling journey from birth with a serious physical handicap to his legs, to escape the dangerous streets of Cleveland immediately following the Hough Riots (1966) when Lee was uprooted to an all-white neighborhood. Faced with a new war of racial adversity, he discovered his calling and solace on the wrestling mat, where he could take control and find victory over the demons staring him in the face. Rising meteorically through the collegiate and international wrestling ranks, he never wavered from his ultimate goal of Olympic gold – until it was stripped away from him. On January 23rd, 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced America’s boycott of the Olympic Summer Games in Moscow, stunning a nation and leaving one wrestling legend staring into the abyss of a match he could not win.
Wrested Away: The Lee Kemp Story features compelling interviews from every person who has played a significant role in the rise and fall – and rise again – on one of America’s greatest wrestlers, Lee Kemp. From his adoptive mother who brought him in as an abandoned baby and raised him, to his high school teammates and coaches, all the way to the wrestling greats he met – and ultimately prevailed over, like the great Dan Gable. This documentary film also includes original footage of Lee Kemp’s most critical and life-changing matches, taking us alongside the mat as he grapples with adversaries from around the USA and the world. Additionally, it spends considerable time with the Lee Kemp of today, as he describes his triumph over a series of crushing events and how he continues to impact the sport of wrestling to this day. Wrestled Away will certainly have a deep and visceral effect on anyone who has ever stepped onto a wrestling mat. But it will also resonate powerfully with anyone who identifies with – or looks up to – a world-class athlete who is unjustly denied the very thing he has striven for his entire life.