Prepare for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2021 by watching these motivational Olympic sports clips.
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In anticipation of the highly anticipated Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, we’ve compiled a list of the best Olympic-themed films. Because of the pandemic, this year’s summer games have been in the spotlight.
Relive these spectacular Olympic tales on video as you get ready for the upcoming games instead of reading about them in the news. Whether you’re a die-hard sports fan or a non-believer, this collection of Olympic films is sure to please any cinephile or non-believer alike.
1. Miracle (2004)
In 2004, we were treated to one of the most realistic and historically accurate depictions of real-life sports events ever depicted in a film. Miracle tells the story of the U.S. men’s ice hockey team’s quest for gold in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. During the Cold War, a friendly hockey game between the United States and the Soviet Union becomes a political battleground. Miracle has it all… sweaty hockey players, Midwest and Canadian accents, and a tangible sense of patriotism: this is Kurt Russell’s movie. In addition, two KCM staff members ranked it the most likely to make you cry like a baby, which tells you all you need to know.
2. Chariots of Fire (1981)
Chariots of Fire tells the true story of two British athletes competing in the 1924 Olympics, Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams. Before returning to his missionary work, Liddell (Ian Charleson), a fervent Scottish Christian, is determined to glorify God by running competitively. As a student at Cambridge University, Abrahams (Ben Cross) encounters antisemitism and still manages to excel in track and field. Athletes from the United Kingdom prepare for the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. At the Academy Awards, Chariots of Fire was nominated seven times and won four times (including Best Picture).
3. The Cutting Edge (1992)
Kate (Moira Kelly) is a haughty figure skater who pairs up with Doug (D. B. Sweeney), a cold former hockey player, to compete in the 1992 Winter Olympics in France. The Cutting Edge is a 1992 American romantic comedy. When Kate and her former skating partner broke up, she was desperate for a new partner who could help her win gold at the 1988 Winter Olympics. This is the movie for you if you enjoy romantic comedies with a strong competitive element. On and off the rink, the couple develops chemistry and common ground as they learn to work together and skate together.
4. I, Tonya (2017)
It’s hard to think that the incident that inspired the 2017 black comedy I, Tonya happened over 25 years ago, and that the film is now four years old. Before and after Tonya Harding’s infamous attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan in 1994, Margot Robbie portrays the figure skater in the run-up to the United States Figure Skating Championships and the Winter Olympics that year. We follow Robbie’s character as she recounts the events leading up to her tragic end in a semi-mockumentary way. A more sinister version of The Office. Janney’s performance as Harding’s eccentric mother, which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, is also worth seeing. She was nominated for Best Actress as well.
5. Blades of Glory (2007)
We’d suggest the 2007 Will Speck and Josh Gordon comedy Blades of Glory if you’re looking for something a little lighter to watch during the Olympic Games. It featured Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as figure skaters who had competed against each other in the past and were again vying for Olympic gold. As a result of both skaters’ gold medals in men’s single skating being rescinded in the 2002 Winter Olympics, the duo is given the opportunity to compete as the first ever male-male pairs team in the competition.
6. Munich (2005)
Vengeance, a 1984 book by George Jonas, details the Israeli government’s reprisal against the Palestine Liberation Organization after the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics. It comes at a good moment. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards and ranked as The New York Times’ 16th “Best Film of the 21st Century So Far.”
7. Foxcatcher (2014)
Those who love Steve Carrell should give this film a try, because he looks nothing like himself. Based on the odd journey to fame of Olympic wrestling champion brothers Mark Schultz and Dave Schultz (played by Carrell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo), “The Greatest Showman” (2014) stars these three talented actors. As part of their preparations for the Seoul Olympics of 1988, the Schultz brothers join “Team Foxcatcher,” commanded by eccentric multi-millionaire John du Pont. For this film, we see how John’s erratic and destructive conduct culminates in an unimaginable end result. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best director Bennett Miller’s at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
8. Cool Runnings (1993)
This is a time-honored piece of literature. Cool Runnings is based on the Jamaican bobsled team’s debut at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada, which was the subject of the 1993 comedy film. The story centers on four Jamaican bobsledders who, despite having never seen snow before, dream of competing in the Winter Olympics. This movie has been hailed as wholesome, humorous, and uplifting when it was debuted.
9. Race (2016)
As the story of Black track star Jesse Owens (Stephen James), who won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, is told through the lens of a 2016 biographical sports drama, Race, It depicts Owens’ triumphant ascent against the backdrop of Hitler’s ideal of Aryan supremacy in the 1936 Summer Olympics. “The Jesse Owens Foundation” and “Jason Sudeikis (yep, Ted Lasso!)” are among its stars.
10. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)
Bhaag An autobiography co-written by Milkha Singh and his daughter was the inspiration for Milkha Bhaag. During the partition of India and Pakistan, Singh became an Olympian, a Commonwealth Games champion and a two-time 400m champion at the Asian Games. Bhaag It was the sixth-highest grossing Bollywood film of 2013 worldwide for Milkha Bhaag.
11. The Weight of Gold (2020)
The documentary film The Weight of Gold, due out in 2020, examines the struggles Olympic competitors with mental illness have on their quest for gold. Michael Phelps, Apolo Ohno and Shaun White are just some of the Olympians featured in the book. Brett Rapkin is the film’s director, and Phelps serves as an executive producer.
12. Without Limits (1998)
Billy Crudup’s portrayal of legendary 1970s runner Steve Prefontaine is our favorite of the two films about him that were created. Learn about Pre’s early athletic experiences as he made his way to Oregon University, where he was mentored by great coach Bill Bowerman, before he was tragically killed in a traffic accident at the age of 24.