Sports documentaries take you behind the scenes and highlight various aspects of professional sports. We’ve rounded up the best nine for you here.
Whether it’s extensive coverage of steroids or just the exciting life story of your favorite athletes. Sports documentaries take audiences in a whirl of emotions, presenting true stories that inspire and allow you to look behind the scenes. The following nine films take you into the training halls and gyms of your idols and show the world of professional sports from different sides.
Especially with the recent developments of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many people are interested in the most famous Ukrainian athlete: the Klitschko brothers. The documentary accompanies Vitaly and Vladimir in their private and sporting lives, showing their successes and defeats, arguments and sibling love. The unstoppable success story of the two brothers is told here in an entertaining way, and not just for boxing fans. You can also watch “Klitschko” as part of a fundraising drive for children in Ukraine on March 20, 2022 at 6 pm in 450 cinemas across Germany!
Free Solo (2018)
The Academy Award winning documentary “Free Solo” accompanies extreme climber Alex Honnold. He reached his head to climb the 1,000-meter cliff in El Capitan without safety gear. Free Solo is the name for this type of climbing, where every little mistake can mean death. A film that delves into the psychology of an exceptional athlete and captures a milestone in the history of climbing with captivating photographs.
Originally, “Icarus” director Brian Vogel intended to document a self-experience. He wanted to see if he could get away with doping in an amateur bike race. But things went differently: during his research he met Grigory Rodchenko, the head of the Russian anti-doping program, and a much larger conspiracy than he could have dreamed of. This sports documentary is so exciting and mysterious, it might as well be made into a whistleblower thriller. So it’s no surprise that Icarus won an Academy Award in 2018.
- The documentary was produced by Netflix, which is why you can only find “Ikarus” in the stream.
Iron Pumping (1977)
Anyone familiar with the world of bodybuilding will surely be familiar with the term “iron pumping”. Documentary dramas with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno became a cult scene and turned unknown bodybuilders into stars. The film traces the duo’s competitive struggles and preparations for various events such as Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe in 1975. A gripping picture of two athletes in a subculture who, over time, have managed to establish themselves more and more in the eyes of the general public.
- Pumping Iron is available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes.
“Athlete A” (2020)
“Athlete A” documents the grueling investigation of the small Indianapolis Star, who became acquainted with American gymnastics while investigating sexual assault in schools. There is practiced dr. Larry Nassar, which has offended hundreds of mathematics and has been covered by many organizations. The documentary by duo Bonnie Cohen and John Schenk provides shocking insight into the systemic oppression that has allowed child abuse over several decades. A horrific viewing experience on a subject that can no longer be put under the rug.
- Athlete A is available exclusively on Netflix.
“Novitsky. The Perfect Throw “(2014)
It is rare for a German to achieve legendary status in America – and this is especially true in basketball. In “Nowitzki: The Perfect Throw,” Sebastian Dehnhardt tells the life story of the man who did just that. In the unenthusiastic fashion typical of Dirk Nowitzki, the sports documentary tells of Würzburger’s rise in the NBA, his defeats and his successes, but above all, his relationship with his mentor Holger Geschwindner has been given plenty of space. A must for all Nowitzki and basketball fans.
- The basketball documentary is available to watch on Netflix by subscribing and purchasing on Amazon.
Nearly ten years after the fatal skiing accident of Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher, fans of the racing driver are beginning to learn about his family life, sporting career, ambitions and setbacks. Although his current health was not really discussed and he didn’t get a chance to speak, the closest members of his family broke the silence for the first time. Schumacher’s rivals and team members also have their say in this documentary about the race. “Schumacher” is the delicate image of an exceptional athlete under your skin.
- The movie is available to stream exclusively on Netflix.
When We Were Kings (1996)
Kinshasa in Zaire, October 30, 1974: Boxing legends Muhammad Ali and George Foreman face off in the ring. It is a fight that represents one of the most important events in the history of boxing and even the sport. When We Were Kings shows Ali’s incredible charisma, which has moved audiences then and now. Set to the beats of James Brown and BB King, this documentary transports audiences to an eventful era when the career of an African American legend stunned the world.
- “When We Were Kings” is not currently available on any of the streaming providers, but it is available on DVD.
Neymar: Total Mayhem (2022)
Brazilian soccer star Neymar takes an intimate look at his life as a professional and celebrity player in this mini-series. Neymar: Total Mayhem presents the footballer’s extraordinary world with all its ups and downs. As one of the most popular players in Brazil and around the world, he was not only celebrated but also had to come under a lot of criticism. The docu series depicts a complex character who has reached the pinnacle of football.
- Neymar: The Complete Mayhem is only available to stream on Netflix.
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