The Greatest Movies About the Olympics

Walt Disney Pictures

The Rio 2016 Summer Olympic games are here! The Zika virus problem fills the news and frightens athletes from around the world, reports suggest that the sound of jackhammers, at times, still is overwhelming especially at the Olympic village. Sure, problems are there, but the games will start. They just have to! For many of us, Olympic games are a timeless source of inspiration, a sense of unity, national identity, and true hope for humanity across the globe. For most athletes, it just can’t get better than representing, and hopefully winning a medal for, their country.

That’s why the Olympic games are a great wellspring of movie ideas, from real life documentaries to movies inspired by true stories that talk about triumph and disaster, or how to face obstacles and overcome them for a noble purpose. So, what are the greatest movies about the Olympics?

Chariots Of Fire (1981)

Chariots Of Fire

Twentieth Century Fox

The first-ever Olympic themed movie, Chariots of Fire was the winner of four Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture. Back when movies were much more of an art form than numbers-driven entertainment, a story of two young, competitive runners showed us what it meant to represent and compete for your country at the beginning of the 20th century. Fabulously-portrayed characters and situations are accompanied by an equally impressive soundtrack made by Vangelis.

Cool Runnings (1993)

Walt Disney Pictures

Walt Disney Pictures

You may remember Cool Runnings as a fun movie about ambitious Jamaican guys looking to compete in the winter Olympics bobsled tournament. But the fact is, the movie is based on the true story of a former American Olympian ex-bobsledder Howard Siler (represented by John Candy’s “Irv Blitzer” character). Knowing this really sheds new light on the movie, and the underdogs in it, encouraging great respect for them.

Munich (2005)

DreamWorks / Universal Pictures

DreamWorks / Universal Pictures

Steven Spielberg’s Munich might not be an actual Olympic-themed movie, but it’s a damn good movie and it shows a different side of the Olympics and the world actually. The movie tells the story of the tragic event during the 1972 Munich Olympics when 11 Israeli Olympic athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists. Even though that centered more around problems of vengeance and retribution, it still showed the importance and worldwide perception of the Olympics games, unfortunately through the political lens as well.

Astérix at the Olympic Games (2008)

Pathé Renn Productions

Pathé Renn Productions

Lighten up the mood with an Olympic games adventure of comic book character Astérix and his chubby but strong friend Obélix. It’s ancient times, with ancient sports, and a tale of two lovebirds in need of help from Gaelic heroes. It’s an incredibly funny movie.

Eddie The Eagle (2016)


Marv Films / Saville Productions

The story of Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards is a true Olympic story that embodies everything the Olympics stands for. An underdog British ski jumper tries to compete with the best, emphasizing Pierre de Coubertin’s Olympic maxim “The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part”. It’s an incredible real life story matched with a fantastic cast.

Let us know if there’s any we might have missed in the comment section below!