6 great documentaries to watch on Netflix if you’re really missing sport right now
29th Apr 2020
The lack of sport coming into the summer is just another letdown of the Covid-19 restrictions – but thankfully, there’s always Netflix to fill the void
If you’re a sport lover who is sorely missing their fix on TV right now, we hear you – the lack of excitement, skill and friendly competition from our screens (not to mention pubs) has us feeling a little low. But the next best thing is reliving some of the greatest sporting moments, or listening to some of the world’s best athletes regale their careers – and thankfully, we have Netflix to fill that gap.
There are some fantastic documentaries on Netflix, and with the recent, hotly anticipated arrival of The Last Dance, which chronicles Michael Jordan’s career with the Chicago Bulls, we’re turning our attention to some of the best sport watches the platform has to offer.
The Last Dance
A new arrival that everyone is talking about. The Last Dance follows Michael Jordan, as his career hits an all-time high as part of the 97-98 Chicago Bulls basketball team. Packed with previously unaired footage, it’s sport at its best – incredible successes, emotional atmosphere, and some great stories and cameos from fellow teammates and coaches (Denis Rodman provides plenty of entertainment).
If you don’t think college cheerleading counts as a sport, you are sorely mistaken, as you’ll find out after one episode of Netflix’s Cheer. Following the Navarro team, from a small town in Texas, Cheer paints a picture of the discipline, love, blood, sweat and tears that go into forming the best cheerleading team in America. Key characters on the team like Jerry and La’Darius provide comic (and emotional) relief, while team coach Monica Aldama is the ultimate sports mother.
A story that seems too crazy to be true, Team Foxcatcher is as good as any thriller on Netflix and is a great prelude to watching the Oscar-nominated 2014 film based on the story. John du Pont, a billionaire, sets his sights on leading the USA’s next great Olympic wrestling team, constructing world class training facilities on his own home grounds, and demanding absolute loyalty from his team. Du Pont’s increasingly bizarre behaviour plants doubt amongst the team, but no one expects just how far du Pont will go.
Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story
It’s the sporting story that shook the world, and this intimate portrait of cycling legend and disgraced athlete Lance Armstrong tells us all the gory details. It reveals how Armstrong managed to dupe his friends, family, team and fans, and how, when his bullying and manipulation intensified, a few voices rose up to fight back and tell the truth.
Doping in sports is a worldwide issue, and this Oscar-winning documentary delves right to the heart of the matter. Filmmaker and amateur cyclist Bryan Fogel is interested in the subject of doping, but when he meets a Russian scientist who works in an anti-doping lab, his search turns from personal interest to international thriller.
If you’re a football fan, Gascoigne, which is basically an hour and a half of Gazza being Gazza, is required viewing.
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