Finished 'The Last Dance'? Here are 11 other sports documentaries to watch
Whether you’re into competitive cheerleading or want to learn more about cricket, here are the sports documentaries to check out
Now that many of us have finished watching Michael Jordan’s 10-part Netflix documentary The Last Dance, there might be a sports-viewing void left in your life that you’re looking to fill. Thankfully, there are plenty of sport-related documentaries and docuseries to still binge on across the streaming platforms.
So, whether you’re interested in the world of college gymnastics or wanting to learn more about competitive cheerleading in America, there really is something out there for everyone. Here’s our round-up of the best sports documentaries to stream in the UAE.
‘Icarus’ (2017), Netflix
The award-winning documentary follows director and cyclist Bryan Fogel and Russian scientist Grigory Rodchenkov as they hatch a plan to show how to evade detection for taking performance-enhancing drugs. That is only the start of the story, however, as it features a major twist. We won’t spoil it for you, though. Suffice it to say, it’s well worth watching, as the documentary won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 2018 Academy Awards.
‘All or Nothing: Manchester City’ (2018), Amazon Prime
Manchester City fans are in for a treat with this eight-part documentary. It takes viewers on a journey through the team’s double-winning 2017-18 season, with exclusive and unhindered access to the club’s world-leading training facilities at the City Football Academy, interviews with the manager, boardroom meetings and other surprise moments across the season. It also includes behind-the-scenes snippets with legendary coach Pep Guardiola, as well as the week-on-week stories that unfold within the lives of the players.
‘Sunderland ’Til I Die’ (2018-present), Netflix
Another football-themed docuseries, this one focuses on the English football club Sunderland AFC. There are currently two seasons on Netflix, with the first featuring eight episodes and the second having six. The first season focuses on the events around the English football club during their 2017-18 season, when they were relegated from the EFL Championship. The second season, which came out on April 1, covers the 2018-2019 season under new owner Stewart Donald.
‘Last Chance U’ (2016-present), Netflix
This docuseries currently has four parts on Netflix. It chronicles the stories of aspiring American collegiate junior football players with troubled pasts who try to fulfil their goal of making it on to a big-time Division 1 college football team. Some players are not wealthy but have talent, while others head to community college to use it as a launching pad for a second chance after failing to find success at a D1 university.
‘Cheer’ (2020), Netflix
This Netflix Original follows the nationally ranked Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team as they prepare for the National Cheerleading Championships. While it might not be viewed as a traditional sport (and some argue whether it is or not), Cheer proves why it deserves to be. The series also delves deeper into the overall sport of cheerleading and follows the lives of some of the members of the cheer squad who are able to find happiness and belonging while on a quest to be the best. The first season has six episodes.
‘Losers’ (2019), Netflix
While sport is usually all about winning, what about those who don’t come out on top? Docuseries Losers tells the story of those who didn’t finish first and how they were able to turn those experiences into something positive. The first season consists of eight episodes, featuring eight athletes from the worlds of golf, figure skating, boxing, curling and endurance running, plus more.
‘UCLA Gymnastics: The New Era’ (2019), YouTube
The UCLA Gymnastics team came into the national spotlight in the US after floor routines from gymnast Katelyn Ohashi went viral. However, this docuseries focuses on the team after Ohashi’s departure and the start of the 2019-2020 collegiate gymnastics season. Other storylines include senior year for former Olympian Kyla Ross, who retired from being an elite gymnast to focus on university, and the first year under new coach Chris Waller after long-time head coach Valorie Kondos Field retired in the previous season.
‘Fire in Babylon’ (2010), YouTube
Fire in Babylon is a British documentary that tells of the rise of the West Indies cricket team from their early beginnings, to dominance in the sport from the mid-1970s to early 1990s. It introduces the team and explores the history of the sport and its development in the region. The film also includes interviews with several former players, including Colin Croft, Deryck Murray and Joel Garner.
‘Ice Guardians’ (2016), Netflix
The documentary looks at the history of on-ice enforcers and how players who might be less skilled but better at fighting struggle to rise through the professional ranks in the NHL, as the role slowly disappears from the game. The Netflix film includes interviews with those featured in the Hockey Hall of Fame, such as Chris Chelios, Brett Hull and Bobby Hull, as well as other past players, including Wendel Clark, Dave Semenko, Joe Kocur and Dave Schultz.
‘The Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest on Earth’ (2018), Netflix
This documentary looks into the world of fitness and takes place over four days at the Reebok CrossFit Games competition in 2017. Questions about endurance and overall toughness surround a group of elite athletes as they compete to be the best. The men’s field is led by returning champ Mat Fraser, while the women’s competition is wide open between Tia-Clair Toomey, Annie Thorisdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir and Kara Webb Saunders. The athletes offer insight into what goes through their minds as they compete.
‘The Game Changers’ (2018), Netflix
This documentary, on which James Cameron was executive producer, explores how beneficial a plant-based diet is for athletes. UFC fighter James Wilks travels the world after an injury, looking for more information about the consumption of meat and protein, and how that all plays into strength. It showcases elite athletes, such as Lewis Hamilton, and other celebrities, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, all of whom champion a vegan diet for improving athleticism.
Updated: May 25, 2020 10:18 PM