Sport Documentaries you should watch

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Didier Cuche in Streif: One hell of a ride (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool)

By Peter Davies

There are many stories and events in sport that can be captured or revisited through the art of film. Here are a few I’ve picked that I think you should watch!

Team Foxcatcher (2016)

Bio

This documentary follows the story of John Du Pont who founded and owned the Team Foxcatcher wrestling empire. Du Pont becomes paranoid and later kills former world champion and Foxcatcher coach Dave Schultz.  The documentary has library footage and home videos of when the Foxcatcher team was the top-wrestling institute of the world. Exclusive interviews with the Schultz family show the reality of Du Pont’s actions. It’s a lot more factual and in-depth than the film featuring Steve Carell and Channing Tatum.

Opinion:

I enjoyed this more than the blockbuster film. Both are compelling to watch, but I felt like the documentary really showed the way Schultz’s death has impacted the sport and his family.

Available: Netflix

The Crash Reel (2013)

Bio

The story starts off with a grudge between snowboarding super star Shaun White and rival Kevin Pearce, depicting the limits they go to reach their target of a gold medal. It later focuses in on a training session with Pearce leading up to the next Olympic games in Vancouver, but he then suffers a life changing injury. It covers the rehabilitation and life after snowboarding for Pearce and questions the safety of athletes in action sports.

Opinion:

Probably one the best sports documentaries I’ve ever seen. You don’t need to have knowledge of snowboarding to be fascinated by this film. The editing and honest views by all the interviewees are brilliant.

Available: DVD, download or Sky Go

The Motivation (2013)

Bio

The Street League skateboarding competition has become the top prize for the professionals in the sport. It’s a relatively new event set up by famous entrepreneur Rob Dyrdek that only allows eight of the top skaters to compete to become champion. The film follows the story of each skater and how they are going to prepare for skateboardings equivalent of the Super Bowl.

Opinion

Each rider has an inspiring story to get to where they are now in the sport. It could’ve been a pure promotional video for the Street League event but instead focuses on the skaters’ lives. Makes me want to play Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 again!

Available: Netflix, DVD and download

Class of 92 (2013)

Bio

It’s a story of the rise of six young Manchester United academy graduates that later became stars for the full team. David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes all recall how all their careers panned out. Interviews with managers, coaches and teammates from the game add to the dynamic of the film.

Opinion

The film was done with a touch of simplicity that allowed the big name stars to be more honest about their experiences in football. There are some great funny moments and inspiring tales throughout. I bet Manchester United fans have been watching this a lot recently to get over the current team performances!

Available: DVD and download

Patani: The accidental death of a cyclist

Bio

Most people think of Lance Armstrong when it comes to road cycling in the 90s, but there was another top rider called Marco Pantani. The Italian cyclist won the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia during his career but sadly fell victim to addiction.

Opinion

I’ve read several books of the Pantani story but the documentary does well to provide depth and context to his life. Armstrong’s story was one of arrogance and deception whereas Pantani’s is more complicated and tragic.

Available: Netflix, DVD and download

Streif: One hell of a ride

Bio

The Hahnenkamm downhill is the biggest alpine ski race on the World Cup calendar. The tough terrain and incredible speed the athletes have to endure is incredible. There’s historical insight into how the race became so prestigious, as well as profiles on the many champions and victims of the course.

Opinion

It’s a visually stunning film and has some great nuggets that come out of the many interviews. Some bits are a bit too arty for my liking but I can’t complain too much because there aren’t many ski race documentaries our there.

Available: DVD and download

If you have any sport documentary suggestions leave a comment below!

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5 comments

  1. Some of these sound great even though I’m not a sports fan. I like the sound of the skateboarding one!

    1. The Scribblers · · Reply

      Yeah if you like drama and twists they’re still good to watch! Thanks for reading Ashleigh!

  2. These sounds very interesting, I am not a sports fan I have to say but I am sure my boyfriend would love them x

    http://www.brandobeauty.uk

  3. […] Sport Documentaries you should watch […]

  4. […] Sport Documentaries you should watch […]

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