Allow These Movies and TV Shows To Get You in the Spirit for the Olympics

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Watch: Cody Simpson Celebrates After Qualifying for 2021 Olympic Trials

The best of the best. 

While we wait to watch the world’s greatest athletes compete at the Tokyo Olympics, we decided to get in the spirit with some of our favorite movies about, well, sports. Whether it’s NBA superstar and former Olympic gold medalist Michael Jordan battling cartoon aliens in Space Jam—or even Lebron James‘ take on the highly-anticipated HBO Max sequel—these films and TV shows will get you in the mood for the international sporting event. 

After binging Stick It and Make It or Break It, we’ll basically be ready to show off our best Simone Biles gymnastics flips. That’s how training works, right? And yes, there are even biopics on some of our favorite Olympic athletes. Even look ahead to the Winter Games with Oscar-nominated film I, Tonya and laugh along during the figure skating parody Blades of Glory. There’s no competition here—watch all of the below picks to gear up for the big games.

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Get to Know the U.S. Gymnasts Competing at the Tokyo Olympics

Keep scrolling to see the top picks for what to watch ahead of the Opening Ceremony, which airs on NBC July 23.

Make It or Break It

The Freeform teen drama ran from 2009 to 2012, and followed fictional character Emily Kmetko (Chelsea Hobbs) after she receives a scholarship to attend a prestigious Olympics gymnast training center in Colorado. Between backstabbing foes and friends for life, the beloved series is rooted in its ensemble cast featuring Ayla KellJosie LorenCassandra Scerbo, Peri Gilpin and Candace Cameron Bure.

Available to stream on Hulu.

Stick It

The 2006 dramedy stars Missy Peregrym as a troubled teen who is forced to return to the world of elite gymnastics after getting in trouble with the law. Jeff Bridges plays the coach that harnesses her rebellious nature into team spirit.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

The Gabby Douglas Story

Regina King plays Gabby Douglas’ mother in this biopic of the “Fierce Five” gold medalist, portrayed by both Imani Hakim and Sydney Mikayla on her road to victory. Douglas even later plays herself after making history as the first Black person ever to be named Individual All-Around Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Space Jam: A New Legacy

Make it a double feature with Michael Jordan‘s iconic 1996 hit before streaming Lebron James‘ sequel, Space Jam: A New Legacy, out July 16 on HBO Max. Don Cheadle, Zendaya and NBA superstars Klay ThompsonAnthony Davis and Damian Lilliard co-star in the latest. 

Available to stream on HBO Max. 

Race

This 2016 film centers on the historic victory of Jesse Owens (Stephan James) during the 1936 Olympics. Jason Sudeikis also stars as Owens’ coach, Larry Synder

Available to stream on Netflix.

The Weight of Gold

Michael Phelps, Sasha CohenAlpho OnoShaun White and more Olympians appear in this riveting HBO Max documentary about the mental health challenges Olympic athletes face. 

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Touch the Wall

This 2014 documentary captures how Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin was inspired by veteran athlete Kara Lynn Joyce to follow her dreams for gold.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Without Limits

Billy Crudup and Donald Sutherland are unrecognizable in this powerful 1998 film following the life of Olympic runner Steve Prefontaine and his relationship with legendary coach Bill Bowerman.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Unbroken

Based on the biography by Laura HillenbrandUnbroken follows the remarkable life story of Olympian Louis Zamperini who spent 47 days on a life raft after a plane crash, only to then be detained in a prison-of-war camp during WWII. Angelina Jolie directed this 2014 drama.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Chariots of Fire

The Oscar winner tells the real-life story of two British track athletes, Eric Liddell (Ian Charleston) and Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), who overcome their differing religious backgrounds to compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Available to stream on Netflix.

 

LFG

The new doc LFG gives an inside look at the fight for equal pay both on and off the field for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. Rachel Maddow interviews soccer champions Jessica McDonaldChristen PressMegan Rapinoe and more. 

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Rising Phoenix

This investigates the history of the Paralympic Games, which is the world’s third largest sporting event today. Real-life athletes Jean-Baptiste AlaizeRyley Batt, Tatyana McFadden and Ellie Cole appear in the film, as well as Invictus Games founder Prince Harry

Available to stream on Netflix.

Miracle

Miracle centers on the famed U.S. men’s ice hockey team that won the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics. The American team’s victory over the favored Soviets earned the title “Miracle on Ice.” Kurt Russell plays the head coach, Herb Brooks, and fans can watch the 2004 film on Disney+. 

Available to stream on Disney+.

I, Tonya

Margot Robbie stuns as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in this Oscar-nominated film, also starring Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan

Available to stream on Hulu.

The Cutting Edge

’90s fashion, figure skating and a sports romance…what more does anyone need in a movie?! A spoiled figure skater (Moira Kelly) is paired with a former ice hockey player (D. B. Sweeney) for Olympic figure skating, and they quickly heat up the ice.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Eddie the Eagle

Taron Egerton stars as underdog ski jumper Eddie Edwards, who captivated audiences at the 1988 Winter Olympics while representing England. Hugh Jackman and Tom Costello co-star in the film. 

Available to stream on Disney+. 

Peaceful Warrior

A college gymnast’s life is changed after a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger in this 2006 drama starring Scott Mechlowicz and Nick Nolte

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Cool Runnings

The classic film tells the touching story of a Jamaican bobsled team and their journey to the Winter Olympics. LeonDoug E. DougMalik Yoba and John Candy star in the hit 1993 movie.

Available to stream on Disney+. 

Blades Of Glory

Will Ferrell and Jon Heder play rival figure skaters who are forced to compete as a couple after being permanently banned from the men’s singles competition at the Winter Olympics. The very funny cast includes Amy Poehler, Will ArnettNick Swardson and Craig T. Nelson

Available to stream on Netflix.

(E! and NBC Sports are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony airs Friday, July 23 on NBC.

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