Trending News

Overcoming Adversity: 5 Inspiring Sports Films for Your Watch List

There are hundreds of movies and television shows that are framed by the lens of sports. However, the greatest sports movies are those that offer us a raw and captivating glimpse into the true fabric of the human spirit. Watching underdogs fight against seemingly insurmountable odds, we can witness the sheer human drive to conquer challenges and overcome adversity. 

The films below are a carefully curated list of powerful stories that will move and inspire you as you witness the resilience and will of mankind in action.

  1. Wrestle (2018)

Set against the gritty backdrop of Huntsville’s J.O. Johnson High School, Wrestle is a heart-rending coming-of-age documentary that will change the way you view high school sports forever. The film, for which Steve Streit was an executive producer, offers a confronting look at life for students attending one of Alabama’s lowest-ranking schools. Focusing on wrestling teammates Jamario, Teague, Jailen, and Jacquan, it documents the boys’ struggle to overcome drug addiction, depression and even teen parenthood. Through wrestling coach Chris Scribner, the audience is also forced to examine issues of race and class in modern-day America. By banding together and rising above prejudice and socioeconomic barriers, the wrestling team offers a moving depiction of the strength of the human spirit.

  1. Murderball (2005)

Murderball is a documentary film that offers viewers an unprecedented look into the underpublicized world of wheelchair rugby. The 2005 film, directed by Henry Rubin and Dana Shapiro, closely follows several paralympic rugby athletes, including Mark Zupan, Joe Soars and Scott Hogsett, as they prepare for the 2004 Paralympic Games. Through interviews with passionate athletes and footage highlighting the intense physicality of wheelchair rugby, the production explores issues of identity and ableism while vehemently dispelling preconceptions about disability. Murderball is a testament to humankind’s ability not only to adapt, but to thrive in the face of adversity.

  1. A League of Their Own (1992)

A League of Their Own is a fictionalized film that tells the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as they fight for acceptance in a historically male-dominated sport. Though the film takes some creative liberties, it was deeply inspired by the true story of the AAGBL, an all-female baseball league that was created in the United States during World War II to address wartime labor shortages. The film explores issues of sexism, gender equality and the resilience required to defy rigid societal expectations in 1940s America. It also touches on the idea of diversity and inclusion, through the introduction of Mamie Johnson, an African American baseballer. Overall, the film is a celebration of sisterhood and the power of many. 

  1. Rudy (1993)

Rudy is another film based on a true story. It depicts the life, triumphs, and tribulations of Rudy Ruettiger, an undersized, 165-pound athlete who didn’t fit the conventional image of a star footballer. The film follows Rudy as he struggles with high school education in a small town in Illinois, desperately nurturing his dream of earning a spot on the prestigious Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team. Despite skepticism from family and friends and the significant challenge of his dyslexia, Rudy perseveres, honing both his academic and athletic skills until an influential Notre Dame coach writes a letter of support that may just get him into the university. Truly an underdog’s tale, the film culminates in a heartwarming show of achievement against the odds.

  1. Senna (2010)

Senna is a critically acclaimed sports documentary that showcases the racing career of renowned Brazilian Formula One racing car driver, Ayton Senna. Known for his extremely strict preparation before races and near unbreakable focus, Senna’s name is synonymous with personal sacrifice. Through artful use of archival footage, including interviews from Senna himself, the film examines Senna’s legendary rivalry with fellow Formula one driver, Alain Prost, and the lead up to his fatal accident in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. This 2010 film illustrates the power of the human spirit to live on through one’s greatest achievements, even after the body no longer does. 

The films listed above are some of the most thought-provoking and inspirational of their kind. From heartwarming underdog tales to depictions of unbelievable discipline, these athletes show us that adversity can birth the greatest and most worthy victories of all.

Share via:
No Comments

Leave a Comment