Lang Ping was either the Michael Jordan of volleyball or a “traitor” (exclusive video) TheWrap


Olympic Channel’s forthcoming documentary “The Iron Hammer” calls Chinese volleyball legend who became US team coach Lang Ping both a “national hero” and a “traitor” in a short story trailer.

“The Iron Hammer” – named after Ping’s famous nickname – is part of the Olympic Channel’s Five Rings Films documentary series, depicting iconic individuals and record-breaking teams of the modern Olympic era.

The documentary follows the journey of Ping, one of China’s most popular sports stars, to the gold medal won for China at the 1984 Olympics, the coach of the US Olympic team two decades later, returning to her home country, where she transformed her struggling national team into Olympic champions.

“Lang Ping is like Michael Jordan in our minds,” one athlete says in the doc, while others call him “champion,” “trailblazer,” “badass” and “movie star”. But when Ping coached the United States national team to a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, public opinion about him took a turn.

“I was the first foreign woman to coach in a major sport for Team USA,” she says in the clip above. Another voice adds: “Some of us saw her as a traitor.”

Here is the official description of the film:

“In this compelling and personal documentary, director Joan Chen chronicles the inspiring life and career of Lang Ping, a fearless volleyball star who made one of modern China’s most remarkable journeys. After capturing the national team to a historic gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Ping moved overseas to build a career on his own terms. With never-before-seen footage, “The Iron Hammer” explores how Lang Ping’s success as coach of the US and Chinese team set a new example of women’s empowerment and global ambition for a country at the crossroads paths. “

Five Rings Films is produced for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) global media platform by Frank Marshall and Mandalay Sports Media (MSM). Marshall’s production credits also include the “Jason Bourne”, “Jurassic World” and “Indiana Jones” franchises. He produces “The Iron Hammer” alongside MSM’s Mike Tollin, whose recent credits include “The Last Dance”.


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