With Rio 2016 kicking off over the weekend let's take a look at the Top 5 Inspiring Olympic Movies (in no particular order) that have made us both laugh and cry.
1. Eddie the Eagle (2016)
This films follows the incredible true story of Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards a very determined British underdog ski jumper and his trials and tribulations that finally got him to his dream to compete at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. This story is absolutely a feel-good film and is entertaining for the whole family. Aaron Egerton (from The Kingsman) plays the title character and does an outstanding job in expressing the emotion and tenacity of young man who after being told his entire life that he couldn't do something just wanted to prove everyone, including his own father, wrong. Opposite him as his rough, alcoholic coach is Hugh Jackman in role that let's face it he was born to play and as such excels at. Definitely, a must see.
2. Cool Runnings (1993)
The 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics was the olympic event that pulled at the heart strings of the world over. Not only was the name "Eddie the Eagle" becoming a household name but another heart warming story was coming out of the typically warm nation of Jamaica and their fielding of a bobsled team. After a Jamaican sprinter is disqualified from the olympics due to a silly accident, he enlists the help of a dishonoured coach to start the first ever Jamaican olympic bobsled team. A true story of overcoming adversity in the very sense of the word. Because let's face it, it doesn't get much harder to train for a sport for the winter olympics in country where it never even snows. Funny and inspiring, this film can not be overlooked.
Directed by Angeline Jolie Pitt, this film is a little different to other inspiring olympic films. After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before being caught by the Japanese navy and being sent to a prisoner of war camp. The film flashes between Louis' journey to the olympics to his perseverance and determination to survive his Japanese captors and mission to break him. A story of upmost resilience, this film looks at the very real human struggle at time where the world was in such turmoil that hope became a very dangerous thing to possess.
4. Chariots of Fire (1981)
Another politicisation of the olympics, this films follows the story of two British track athletes, one a determined Jew and the other a devout Christian, as they compete in the 1924 Paris Olympics. This true story of athletes, Englishman Harold Abrahams and "Flying Scotsman" Eric Liddell is one of overcoming class prejudice and anti-semiticism to be able to fulfil one's dreams. This film is in inspiring in every sense of the word. The story only made more endearing by the very real message it sends in time that lived in the shadows of not one but two world wars. The obstacles that athletes were faced with due to a difference in belief or class circumstance is truly heart wrenching and worth the watch.
5. Blades of Glory (2007)
To end this list on a lighter side, how can we talk about inspiring olympic movies and not talk about the hilariously funny Blades of Glory. Unlike the other films in this list, this film as no real basis in reality but yet still provides for some entertaining and inspiration speeches and actions in order to defy the odds and change the face of olympic figure skating forever. In 2002, when two rival olympic men's figure skaters are stripped of their gold medals and banned from the men's single competition for life, all seems to be going wrong in their lives. However, when they find a loophole that will allow them to qualify as a pairs team, will they let their rival get in the way or will they make history as the first all male pairs figure skating team in olympic history? If you're after a bit of a laugh, with Jon Heder and Will Ferrell you won't get anything less from this film.