The Olympics are a time where people worldwide come together to celebrate athletes and their talents. It is an event that brings hope, joy, peace, and unity in a way few other things can. Over the years, countless athletes have become legends and heroes by overcoming unthinkable odds on the world's largest stage. Most of us will never get the opportunity to see the Olympics in person, let alone participate in the game. Thankfully we can experience some of the emotional triumphs through the magic of film.
Chariots of Fire is a British film that tells the story of two young men—a Jewish man and an atheist--who participate in the 1924 Olympics. Even though they come from entirely different backgrounds, they can work together for their common goal: winning Olympic gold medals. Many critics have praised this movie as one of the best Olympic films ever made. It's both inspiring and uplifting! Chariots on Fire was nominated for three Academy Awards.
Miracle tells the story of a ragtag group of American college athletes who beat the Soviet Union hockey team during the 1980 Olympics. This film is based on actual events in Lake Placid, New York, in February and March of 1980. The Americans were given little chance to compete against their opponents—the Soviets had won four gold medals at past Olympic Games while never losing once!
Eddie the Eagle tells the story of British ski-jumper Michael Edwards, who became a sensation during the 1988 Olympics. Even though he didn't come in the first place, Eddie jumped ten times and had four world records to his name! Throughout this film, Michael has to balance his jumping with the responsibilities of being a father. He was seen as an average Joe with extraordinary dreams--which made him all the more lovable.
Cool Runnings is a comedy that takes us back to Jamaica's bobsled team at their debut Olympic Games in Calgary in 1988. The movie is based on Jamaican national hero Winston Watts' childhood dream of becoming an Olympian. After being told by his schoolteacher that "you're not going anywhere," Watts went on to create Jamaica's very own bobsled team. Cool Runnings is a classic story about never giving up on your dreams, even when faced with hopes and dreams that may seem impossible.
I, Tonya, tells the story of former American figure skater Tonya Harding. The film covers her early years as a child to becoming America's first female athlete in history to be named "Most Outstanding Female Athlete" at the Olympic Games. The film leads you through key moments of her life and career—the highs and lows--through interviews with family members who knew her best.
Foxcatcher is a movie about Olympic wrestling champion Mark Schultz and his brother, Dave. The film takes place in the late 1980s at their training site: an abandoned Pennsylvania home that John du Pont bought to convert into an American-style compound for wrestlers. Foxcatcher won two Academy Awards—Best Actor (Steve Carell) and Best Supporting Actress (Sienna Miller).
Race is an American biographical drama film about African-American athlete Jesse Owens and his history-making performance at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Race covers not only the events of these games but also how they affected non-athletes as well. This movie was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress (Sariyah Sidney), Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Mixing).
Unbroken is an American biographical drama film about Olympian Louis Zamperini, who was taken captive by Japanese forces during World War II. The film follows Zamperini's life, from being a wayward youth to becoming one of the world's most well-known long-distance runners.
Through grit and determination, Zamperini persevered. Unbroken was nominated for six Academy Awards.
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is a biographical film that tells the story of an Indian athlete, Mohinder Singh Gill. He was born in rural India but ran away from home to pursue his Olympic dream. The movie follows him through four decades and shows us how he became one of the most decorated Olympians in history.
Without Limits is a biographical film about American distance runner Steve Prefontaine and his quest to make the 1972 U.S. Olympic team in track-and-field--despite not winning any of the events he entered before qualifying for it! Steve originally clashes with his training coach while competing in college over his style and stride of running. He shows that there are many ways to find success, and if you have enough heart and determination, you can overcome physical limitations. This is a tragic story of perseverance and success before the untimely death of Prefontaine in a car crash at the age of 24.
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