olympic rings pool 1 Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


The thirtieth (XXX) Olympiad gets underway this Friday, with the opening ceremonies starting off the games in all their traditional splendor. In honor of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, we’ve decided to award gold, silver and bronze medals to 75 films which feature sports – both official and demonstration – listed in 25 categories.

There will be 28 Olympic total sports on display this year, but not all of them have been showcased in a movie. We couldn’t find any notable films for the following sports – pentathlon, handball, badminton or field hockey – but there are plenty of great flicks that deal with a number of prominent sporting events included in the Olympics. So let’s begin awarding the medals…

archery Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Archery made its first appearance in the 1900 Olympics, then returned for the 1904, 1908 and 1920 Summer Games as well. The sport took a hiatus for the next five decades (returning in 1972) and remains a part of the Olympic Games to this day.

Here are the films we think hit the bullseye and deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

SILVER MEDAL – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

BRONZE MEDAL – Robin Hood (2010)

basketball Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Basketball made an appearances in the 1904 and 1924 Games as a demonstration sport only. The sport didn’t become a permanent fixture in the Olympic Games until 1936.

Here are the films we think are slam dunks and deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Hoosiers (1986)

SILVER MEDAL – Coach Carter (2005)

BRONZE MEDAL – Glory Road (2006)

boxing Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


The “Sweet Science” first appeared during the Olympic Games of 1904 and 1908. But in 1920, boxing stepped into the ring and hasn’t been knocked out of the Games since.

Here are the films we think deserve to have their gloves held up as the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Raging Bull (1980)

SILVER MEDAL – Rocky (1976)

BRONZE MEDAL – Diggstown (1992)

canoeing Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Canoeing and kayaking showed up in 1924 merely as a demonstration sport. In 1936, canoe sprinting became an official part of the Olympic Games while slaloming didn’t join the line up until 1992.

Here are the films we think have paddled their way to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Deliverance (1972)

SILVER MEDAL – Without a Paddle (2004)

BRONZE MEDAL – Solo (2008)

cycling Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Road and track cycling have been a part of the Olympic Games since 1896. The relatively new sports of mountain biking and BMX were added in 1996 and 2008, respectively.

Here are the films we think peddled their way to the top three spots on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – American Flyers (1985)

SILVER MEDAL – The Flying Scotsman (2006)

BRONZE MEDAL – Quicksilver (1986)

diving Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


The aquatic sport of diving made in a splash in 1904 and remains one of the most popular sports to watch during the Olympic Games. While there were originally only two diving contests in 1904, there are now eight contests in which athletes can compete.

Here are the films we think deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Back to School (1986)

SILVER MEDAL – Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (1991)

BRONZE MEDAL – Diving In (1990)

equestrian Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


There are three different disciplines in the equestrian sports – dressage, eventing and jumping. All have been a part of the Olympic Games since 1912.

Here are the equestrian-related films we think deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – National Velvet (1944)

SILVER MEDAL  – Dreamer (2005)

BRONZE MEDAL – Seasbiscuit (2003)

fencing Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Fencing has a long, rich Olympic history, having made its debut in the first Olympic Games in 1896. Once considered to be mostly a gentleman’s sport, the women’s fencing competition first appeared in the 1924 Paris Olympic Games.

Here are the films we think parried and thrust their way to the top three spots on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – By the Sword (1991)

SILVER MEDAL – The Duellists (1977)

BRONZE MEDAL – Cyrano De’Bergerac (1950)

golf Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Golf has only made two appearances in the Olympics Games – 1900 and 1904. After a more than 100-year absence, the sport will officially return as part of the Games in 2016. In 2012 it will be a demonstration sport only.

Here are the films we think are better than par and deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Caddyshack (1980)

SILVER MEDAL – The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)

BRONZE MEDAL – Happy Gilmore (1996)

gymnastics Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Artistic gymnastics are one of the original ten sports included in the 1896 Olympic Games. The rhythmic and trampoline gymnastic competitions weren’t introduced until the 1984 and 2000 Games.

Here are the films we think are perfect “10s” and deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Stick It (2006)

SILVER MEDAL – Perfect Body (1997)

BRONZE MEDAL – Peaceful Warrior (2006)

judo Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Judo is a relatively new martial arts form (it wasn’t created in Japan until 1882) and didn’t join the Olympic Games until 1964. However, up until 1988 only males could compete in the sport; in 1992, women were able to medal in Judo for the first time.

Here are the films we think deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Throw Down (2004)

SILVER MEDAL – Sanshiro Sugata (1943)

BRONZE MEDAL – Goldfinger (1964)

rowing Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Rowing has rich sports history and has been a part of the Olympic Games since 1896, though the competition was canceled that year due to bad weather. The first true contest was held at the following Games in 1900. Women first competed in 1976.

There are no films dedicated to rowing, but here are the films we think deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – The Skulls (2000)

SILVER MEDAL – Enemy of the State (1998)

BRONZE MEDAL – College (1927)

rugby Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


The sport of rugby has only made four appearances in the Olympic Games – 1900, 1908, 1920, and 1924. It returns as a demonstration sport in 2012, but won’t be an official sport again until the 2016 Games.

Here are the films we think deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Invictus (2009)

SILVER MEDAL – Murderball (2005)

BRONZE MEDAL – Forever Strong (2008)

sailing Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Sailing, or yachting, was on the original lineup for the 1896 Olympic Games, but the contest was canceled due to bad weather. It remains a prestigious sport, having made an appearance in every Olympic Games since except 1904.

Here are the films we think deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – White Squall (1996)

SILVER MEDAL – Dead Calm (1989)

BRONZE MEDAL – Wind (1992)

shooting Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Various forms of shooting competitions have been held at the Olympic Games since 1896, with 1904 and 1928 as the only exceptions. Pistol and rapid fire pistol were the only contests first available, with seven additional contests added over the years.

Here are the films we think hit their mark and deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Sniper (1993)

SILVER MEDAL – Enemy at the Gates (2001)

BRONZE MEDAL – Phone Booth (2002)

soccer 2 Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Soccer, or football, has been a popular sport in the Olympic Games since 1900, only missing the 1932 Games. The woman’s soccer games weren’t included in the lineup until 1996.

Here are the films we think deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Goal! The Dream Begins (2005)

SILVER MEDAL – Victory (1981)

BRONZE MEDAL – Bend it Like Beckham (2002)

swimming Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Swimming is also one of the original ten sports from the 1896 Olympic Games. Starting with only four contests – 100, 500, 1200 meter freestyle and 100 meter freestyle for sailors – the sport has ballooned in 2012 to 17 different contests.

Here are the films we think touch the wall first and deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Pride (2007)

SILVER MEDAL – Swimming Upstream (2003)

BRONZE MEDAL – Swimfan (2002)

ping pong Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


China has dominated the sport of table tennis, or ping pong, since its inclusion in the 1988 Olympics – winning 41 of the 76 total medals available. They are so good at the sport that the rules were changed in 2004 to give other countries a shot at winning at least one medal.

Here are the films we think deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Ping Pong Playa (2007)

SILVER MEDAL – Balls of Fury (2007)

BRONZE MEDAL – Ping Pong (2002)

taekwondo Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Taekwondo started its bid to become an offical sport in the Olympic Games in 1974, but only managed to be a demonstration sport in 1988 and 1992. It didn’t become a official Olympic sport until 2000.

Here are the films we think deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Best of the Best (1989)

SILVER MEDAL – The Kick (2011)

BRONZE MEDAL – Foot Fist Way (2006)

tennis Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Tennis was a sport in the Olympic Games from 1896 to 1924, making two appearances as a demonstration sport in 1968 and 1984. However, in 1988 it returned and remains an official Olympic sport.

Here are the films we think deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Wimbledon (2004)

SILVER MEDAL – Balls Out (2009)

BRONZE MEDAL – The Break (1995)

running Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Athletics, or track and field, have been popular among fans of the Olympic Games since 1896. What started as only 12 contests has increased almost four-fold to 47 in 2012.

Here are the films we think were quick off the starting block and deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Chariots of Fire (1981)

SILVER MEDAL – The Jesse Owens Story (1984)

BRONZE MEDAL – The Four Minute Mile (1988)

triathlon 2 Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


The modern triathlon – which consists of a 1.5 kilometer swim, 25 mile bike ride and 6.2 mile run – made its debut in the Olympic Games in 2000 and remains on the schedule through 2012.

Here are the films we think deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – On a Clear Day (2005) – Swimming

SILVER MEDAL – Breaking Away (1979) – Cycling

BRONZE MEDAL – Saint Ralph (2004) – Marathon

volleyball Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Indoor volleyball was introduced as a demonstration sport in 1964 and joined the Olympic Games officially in 1968. Beach volleyball is a newer sport, not making its debut until 1992.

Here are the films we think deserve to be the top three medalists (in a VERY limited field) on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Side Out (1990)

SILVER MEDAL – All You’ve Got (2006)

BRONZE MEDAL – Cloud 9 (2006)

weightlifting Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Some form of a weightlifting competition has been held during every Olympic Games since 1896, excluding 1900, 1908, and 1912. The number of strongmen and women competing in the sport has gone from 53 to 253 during that time.

Here are the films we think have performed a clean snatch and jerk and deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Pumping Iron (1977)

SILVER MEDAL – Strongman (2009)

BRONZE MEDAL – Strong! (2012)

wrestling Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


The sport of wrestling – both freestyle and Greco-Roman – has been participating in the Olympic Games since 1896, only sitting out of the 1900 Games.

Here are the films we think have pinned their opponents and deserve to be the top three medalists on the Olympic Winner’s Platform:

GOLD MEDAL – Win Win (2011)

SILVER MEDAL – Legendary (2010)

BRONZE MEDAL – Vision Quest (1985)

 

olympic rings london Medal Winning Movies About 25 Olympic Sports


Those are our choices for the movies deserving to win medals based on sports from the Summer Olympic Games.

Just like during a real competition involving judges, some of these choices are definitely open to scrutiny and are by no means the final say in which films are best. There are plenty of other sports films out there deserving of recognition – we can’t name them all, but feel free to add your picks to the comment section.

Follow me on Twitter – @MoviePaul – and tell me which films you think should win in your favorite category.

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games kick off on July 27th in London.