Olympics

Four Jamaican bobsleighers get the change to compete in the Winter Olympics in “Cool Runnings,” a 19...
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15 Thrilling Movies About The Olympics

Get excited for the Beijing Winter Games!

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Olympic excitement is building once again for the 2022 Winter Games. And although China has moved not to sell tickets to the Games or to allow in-person international spectators due to health concerns, there’s still a lot to get excited about. But families don’t have to wait until the Games officially kick off with an Opening Ceremony on Feb. 4 to get hyped. Start getting into the Olympic spirit now with these 15 Olympic movies, all of which are available to stream online right now.

From an animated movie about animals competing in Olympic events to inspiring true tales of athletic determination, there’s something for each member of the family on this list. Young children might enjoy the fun of Animalympics, which follows animals from every continent as they compete against each other in everything from gymnastics to sprinting. Or gather the entire family for Cool Runnings, a comedic film based loosely on the real-life story of Jamaica’s debut entry in Olympic bobsledding — a perfect introduction to the Winter Olympics.

Dive even farther into the sports that make up the Winter Games with Eddie the Eagle, a film about British skier Michael Edwards, or Miracle, a Disney film about how the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team.

Once the kids are in bed, consider watching Athlete A, a Netflix documentary about the sexual assault allegations levied against USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Or opt for the dark humor of I, Tonya, which centers around the 1994 attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan and fellow skater Tonya Harding’s alleged involvement.

For an inspirational look at what it takes to become an elite Olympic athlete, consider Rising Phoenix, a documentary film that follows nine Paralympic athletes, or The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar, a biographical sports film based on Simone Biles’ book of a similar name.

While not every movie on this list is recommended — or even suitable — for children, there’s plenty to get everyone in the family excited for the upcoming Winter Games.

1

Animalympics

Introduce kids to the Olympics with Animalympics, a series of animated shorts designed to look just like a television broadcast of the Olympic Games. But unlike the Tokyo Games, every participant at the Animalympics is an animal.

Stream Animalympics, which is rated for ages 7 and up, on Amazon Prime.

2

Miracle

Twenty years after he was cut from the 1960 U.S. Olympic hockey team just prior to competition, Herb Brooks is given a second chance at glory when he’s called to coach the nation’s 1980 team to Olympic Gold. But can Brooks turn a group of college all-stars into a team and defeat the long-standing champs from the Soviet Union?

Stream Miracle, rated PG, on Disney+.

3

Cool Runnings

Based loosely on the true story of Jamaica’s bobsleigh debut during the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada, Cool Runnings follows four athletes with no experience in winter sports as they attempt to form an Olympic-ready bobsled team in just a few months.

Stream Cool Runnings, rated PG, on Disney+.

4

Eddie The Eagle

Starring Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken, and Iris Berben, Eddie the Eagle is a biographical sports drama focused on the Olympic dreams of British skier Michael Edwards. As a child, Edwards dreamed of competing in the Olympics. But with poor vision and a history of walking difficulties, few people supported the young man’s dreams. After a few athletic failures, Edwards finds his sport: Ski jumping. Will his determination be enough to get him to the 1988 Winter Olympics?

Stream Eddie The Eagle, rated PG-13, on Disney+.

5

The Crash Reel

Learn just how dangerous Winter Olympic sports can be with The Crash Reel. The documentary details how, in an instant, American snowboarder Kevin Pearce went from chasing Olympic dreams to fighting for his life. In 2009, while training for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Pearce hit his head during a half-pipe training exercise, resulting in a dramatic brain injury that left him in critical care. With the support of his family, Pearce struggles through rehab. But will he ever snowboard again?

Rent The Crash Reel, approved for children 7 years of age and older, on Amazon for $3.99.

6

Race

This biographical sports drama centers around runner Jesse Owens’ record-breaking four gold medal win at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It follows Owens as he attends Ohio State University —where white athletes hurl racial slurs at the Black runner — snags the attention of coach Larry Snyder and begins training for the 1936 Games. The film details the racial discrimination Owens experienced in Berlin, then under Nazi control, and efforts to defy racist Nazi ideology on an international stage.

Stream Race, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime for $3.99.

7

Athlete A

Athlete A is a 2020 documentary that follows investigative journalists from The Indianapolis Star as they break open a story of sexual assault allegations against USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Stream Athlete A, rated PG-13, on Netflix.

8

Rising Phoenix

The documentary Rising Phoenix takes viewers into the stories of nine Paralympic athletes, including T54 racer Russian-American Tatyana McFadden, Italian wheelchair fencer Beatrice Vio, and English T44 sprinter Jonnie Peacock. The documentary also explores the history of the Paralympic Games and how it has changed the lives of athletes around the world.

Stream Rising Phoenix, rated PG-13, on Netflix.

9

Touch The Wall

At 14-years-old, Missy Franklin was already shattering records in the pool as a competitive swimmer. When veteran swimmer Kara Lynn Joyce joins Franklin in her workouts, the two push each other as they train for the 2012 London Olympics.

Stream Touch The Wall, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime.

10

I, Tonya

Margot Robbie plays figure skater Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, a dark biographical sports comedy about Harding’s life and clash with rival Nancy Kerrigan. Specifically, the film looks at Harding’s alleged connection to the 1994 attack on Kerrigan ahead of the 1994 Winter Olympics.

Stream I, Tonya, rated R, on Hulu.

11

Icarus

Directed by Bryan Fogel, Icarus examines illegal doping in sports. In the 2017 documentary, Fogel teams up with Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory to prove that current drug-testing procedures are inadequate. With Rodchenkov’s help, Fogel takes banned performance-enhancing drugs but evades detection in testing. As the pair get to know each other, Rodchenkov reveals a major secret: he oversees a state-sponsored Olympic doping program.

Stream Icarus, rated TV-MA, on Netflix.

12

The Gabby Douglas Story

Imani Hakim stars as Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas in The Gabby Douglas Story, a biographical sports drama centered around the personal sacrifices Douglas made to train with Liang Chow ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Rent The Gabby Douglas Story, which is unrated, on Amazon Prime for $3.99.

13

I am Bolt

Dive into the amazing achievements of Jamaican runner Usain Bolt with I am Bolt, a biographical documentary centered around how Bolt came to win nine Olympic gold medals. Regarded as the fastest man in the world, Bolt holds world records in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4 x 100-meter relay and is considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time.

Rent I am Bolt, which is unrated, on Amazon Prime for $5.99.

14

Tracktown

Although not based on a true story, Tracktown is a fun coming-of-age comedy centered around one young girl’s Olympic dreams. In it, Alexi Pappas plays Plum Marigold, a distance runner preparing to compete in her first Olympic Trials. For as long as she can remember, Plum has lived a life dictated by coaches, training schedules, and routines. That is, until she’s ordered to take a day off from running and training after twisting her ankle. Will a day of newfound freedom change Plum’s life?

Stream Tracktown, which is unrated, on Amazon Prime.

15

The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar

Based on Simone Biles’ memoir Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance, The Simone Biles Story: Courage To Soar depicts the five-time Olympic medalist’s journey from young aspirational athlete to becoming the greatest gymnast of all time. The film lays out how a field trip to a gymnastics center set 6-year-old Biles on a path toward greatness but required her to miss out on many traditional teen moments, such as prom.

Stream The Simone Biles Story: Courage to Soar, which is unrated, on PlutoTV.

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