Radio New Zealand tells us about film director Vincent Ward’s recent project – a film on one of the most successful sailing coaches of all time, Ukrainian-born Victor Kovalenko (OAM, Australian Sailing Hall of Fame Inductee).
Vigil, The Navigator, Map of the Human Heart, What Dreams May Come, River Queen, Rain of the Children – New Zealander Vincent Ward has a diverse and impressive directing résumé. He’s also an accomplished scriptwriter and painter and was awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to film in 2007.
In October he started filming in Ukraine on his latest film Storm School, with more filming planned in China, UK and Australia in 2021. The film is based on a script co-written by Ward and long time collaborator Louis Nowra and tells the story of two dinghy sailors, who overcome adversity to win gold medals at the London 2012 Olympics. Filming in Ukraine is focussed on the harsh childhood of one of the central characters; so-called “medal maker” and one of the world’s greatest sailing coaches, Victor Kovalenko, who guided Australian sailors to six gold medals.From Saturday Morning, 3:35 pm on 19 December 2020
You can also read more about this success story in Roger Vaughan’s book, “The Medal Maker: A Biography of Victor Kovalenko”.
Victor Kovalenko, whose teams have won more Olympic medals in sailing than those of any other sailing coach in history, grew up in the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 60s. THE MEDAL MAKER tracks his development from top sportsman in the Soviet Union to his initial Olympic success as a sailing coach of the Ukrainian team. But Victor’s innate curiosity and broad philosophical outlook clashed with post-Soviet, Ukrainian politics. When Australia beckoned, he was ready. He turned what appeared to be a mission impossible into double gold at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. At the time he was dubbed “The Medal Maker.” The name has stuck with good reason. To date, in eight Olympic Games, Victor’s team have amassed ten Olympic medals, six of them gold.