Fresno native plays big role in revealing Lance Armstrong during documentary

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno native Marina Zenovich is an Emmy award-winning director who is now the probing voice on the other end of one of the most polarizing athletes in the last 20 years.

Zenovich is the director of ESPN's 30 for 30 two-part documentary, "Lance."

"He was at a point where he was willing to talk, so I said, 'why not,'" she said.

From March of 2018 to August of 2019, Lance Armstrong sat down for eight interviews with Zenovich and answered just about all of her questions. Known as being ultra-competitive, Zenovich said he was even trying to win her interviews.

The film follows the rise of Armstrong, a cyclist from Austin, TX, who starting in 1999, won the Tour de France seven straight times.

It then documents his fall after a doping scandal led to his disqualification from all seven of those titles.

"So my goal was just to get him real and to open up and to give me answers," Zenovich says.

Her first interviews with Armstrong were just days after his $5 million settlement with the US Postal Service. It was perfect timing to get those answers.

"So I think in his mind it was, 'Phew it's over. Finally, it's over.' So I could film him right at that moment," she said.

With both episodes released, Zenovich has seen viewers struggle to care about a tainted athlete who lied and cheated for so many years.

"It's like they don't care. Then there are those who don't care but want to watch and then complain about it on Twitter," she said while laughing.

The daughter of the late state senator George Zenovich, whose name is on a Fresno courthouse, Marina is a product of Bullard High School who still has "a soft spot for Fresno."

Part 1 & 2 of Lance are available for streaming on WatchESPN.
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