2014 Film Olympics: The games on the silver screen
Posted Friday, February 14, 2014 at 5:08 PM Central
by John Couture
I think that the reason that the Olympics are so beloved is that it really is a microscopic look at society compacted into two weeks of athletic competition. We like to think that sport allows us to put aside politics and everything else in the world and simply compete with one another in the austerity of sport.
The problem though is that you can never truly forget politics and while you can shift it to the back burner, they still color everything that happens. It's really what makes the drama and pageantry so grand. The politics change and yet the rivalries remain.
Just ask Russia when they suit up against the United States tomorrow in hockey if they've forgotten about 1980. I'm pretty sure that they haven't, even if most of their team was born after that fateful game.
So tonight, we take a look at the medal winners for films based on the Olympics.
Every time I see John Candy in this movie, I tear up a little bit. Cool Runnings is one of those feel good stories about the Jamaican bobsled team at the 1988 Olympic games in Calgary. Based on a true story, it wasn't about winning and losing (they lost, by a mile), but rather about overcoming the odds. Of course, being a Disney film, I'm sure they would have loved to do a little revisionist history on it. Well, they might get their chance as Jamaica is back in Sochi with the bobsled.
Munich is about as polar opposite as you can get from Cool Runnings, but don't let that turn you off. Based on the tragic events of the 1972 Olympic games in Munich and the aftermath of those events, this film is truly one of the most powerful films that you will ever see. Sometimes politics overshadow the games too much and this is a terrible case of tragedy when that occurs.
Sure, I might be a wee bit biased what with my absolute adoration of all things hockey, but I'm pretty sure that when it comes to sports and film, Miracle is about as good as it gets. It not only was a story about a country overcoming obstacles but at the height of the Cold War, it provided a much needed boost in our country's morale. It also doesn't hurt that the casting was perfect.
Well, that wraps up another event. Let's check out the medal standings, shall we?
Check back tomorrow when we look at those athletes who have crossed over.