New series "School of Champions": Coming-of-age series in a sports boarding school

The new coming-of-age series "School of Champions", which the first shows from today, February 14th, takes place in the fictional ski academy Gastein, a sports boarding school for the ski elite of tomorrow.

New series "School of Champions": Coming-of-age series in a sports boarding school

The new coming-of-age series "School of Champions", which the first shows from today, February 14th, takes place in the fictional ski academy Gastein, a sports boarding school for the ski elite of tomorrow. The entrance exam itself is very difficult and pushes candidates to their limits. "We only get those who really want it. It's a life decision," says scout Franziska Huber (Josephine Ehlert, born 1983) in a friendly but also admonishing way. And headmaster Mark Auer (Jakob Seeböck, 47) leads the three days of exams in a no less demanding way: "You all want to become top athletes, win the World Cup, maybe even the Olympic Games. You have talent. Now you still need will and discipline... Train, train, train."

That sounds like a lot of pressure. And the death that is discussed at the beginning of the drama series does not bode well. Whether the young local boarding school student Paul Zeiler (Nikolaus Lessky, born 1999) took his own life because of the pressure to perform is one of the questions that is painful for his parents and existentially concerns those responsible for the elite school.

The most prominent face in the predominantly young cast is the Bavarian actor Ferdinand Hofer (30). He is known for his role as co-inspector Kalli Hammermann (since 2014) of the Munich "crime scene" investigators Batic and Leitmayr (since 1991) as well as for his role as young police officer Max Simmerl (since 2013) in the Eberhofer crime film adaptations (since 2013). In "School of Champions" he plays the coach Albin.

His colleague Tina is played by the Austrian actress Judith Altenberger (born 1996). Together with her sister Verena Altenberger (36) she was seen in “Face of Remembrance” (2022) by director Dominik Graf (71).

The Austrian actor Thomas Mraz (48) plays the farmer Karl Strobl, whose one daughter cheats her way into boarding school. He was also seen in successful productions such as “Der Pass” (2023), “Kaiserschmarrndrama” (2021) and “Vorstadtweiber” (2015-2022). It is also part of the “Country Crime” and “City Comedy” series.

The previously unknown young actors and actresses are also noteworthy. For example, the farmers' daughters Dani Strobl (Emilia Warenski, 19) and her sister Steffi (Anna Thunhart) or the stubborn Nawal Ammann (Luna Mwezi), who prefers to go to the sports boarding school rather than the business high school favored by her mother. The autistic Luca Rossi (Mikka Forcher), the lonely Georg Stoiber (Moritz Uhl) and the headmaster's son Nikolaus "Nikki" Auer (Imre Lichtenberger) also end up in the elite selection.

The first season was filmed from October to December 2022 and January to March 2023 in partly enchanting snowy landscapes in the Gastein Valley in the state of Salzburg and in Vienna. Winter sports fans and fans of dramatic boarding school stories will enjoy the series. The second season is already in the works.

The first two of eight episodes will be broadcast on February 14th at prime time on Erste. The station will only show episodes three to five on February 17th from 11:50 p.m. And episodes six to eight can only be seen on February 18th from 00:10 a.m.

If the last two dates don't suit you, you can simply watch all the episodes in the media library.

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