Why we play – Evelyn Steven


We recently saw this incredible short documentary, ‘Why we play’, about a female cyclist Evelyn Stevens, Olympian and World Champion. The filmmaker Mike Lei has really captured both Evelyn’s inspirational story of what it means to take a risk for something you love and the freedom of cycling by shooting some beautiful landscapes. We’d love to share this film with you as well as a bit of its background. So we contacted Mike to find out more about this project.




How did the idea of the short documentary come about?

“We had been given the opportunity to create a new web series concerning professional athletes and from the get-go we had decided that it was important to tell more unique stories and also to provide a grander, more refined aesthetic than what you traditionally find on ESPN or traditional sports outlets.”


Why did you choose Evelyn’s story and where did you film it?

“Evelyn’s story stood out both in its inspirational qualities (her decision to pursue a wild dream that ended up being a reality) and also in hopes to shed light on a sport that we felt could get a little more attention in the world. We really seized the opportunity to bring to the film medium the feelings, emotions and visuals of what it’s like riding on a bike and I hope that comes through in the scenery and cinematography. We shot everything in the San Francisco Bay Area and up towards Marin County”.


What made you decide to include Evelyn’s sister Angela in the documentary?

“The decision to include the sister was something we came up with in the process of production as we realized the beautiful irony of the fact that Evelyn herself had been inspired to take on biking because Angela had introduced her to the sport but now her narrative had come to inspire the very person that originally inspired her. With all those elements coming together we thought it was this special and timely (with the New Year) story and hopefully it can move people to do more in their own lives and also to turn on their TVs to cycling!”


If you would like to see the film, here it is.


Enjoy the film and let us know what you think!

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