The 12 Best Sports Documentaries [And Where to Stream Them]

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How many times have you gathered around the TV in the evening with the family ready to watch a movie?

Your son wants to watch game four of some boring playoff series that no one else cares about. Your daughter wants to watch the unimportant early rounds of The Voice. And, your husband wants to watch a documentary about a war that ended seventy-five years ago.

How much more can we learn about Pearl Harbor, anyway? At that point, you would be more than happy to read a book! But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Change this up this evening and check out one of the 12 best sports documentaries and find out where you can stream them.

Gun Runners

Gun Runners is an award-winning film that follows the lives of two roaming Kenyan bandits. Giving up their dead-end life of killing and pillaging to become marathon runners.

Taking place over the course of about ten years, the film follows the men as they train for races all over the world and make positive life choices. Their lives change significantly, and they take some unexpected and shocking turns during the movie.

But, in the end, this inspirational story will leave you feeling like there is still hope for this world.

The Short Game

Let’s face it. Kids and documentaries aren’t usually a winning combination.

But, The Short Game is an unsuspecting film about kids who compete in a national golf competition is both addicting and fun. Produced by Justin Timberlake, this film is about 7 and 8 year-olds who compete in the 2012 U.S. Kids Golf Championship. It takes you on a journey of competition through the eyes of the youngsters.

While they navigate stresses that go along with trying to be the best; sometimes, they have to deal with everyday annoyances – their parents.

In the end, this movie is about kids doing amazing things while still being kids.


The cinematography of Mountain is a feat in itself.

Featuring breathtaking scenes from mountains around the world with hypnotic musical accompaniments. The inspiration behind the film stems from the wonderment and determination of reaching the top of the summit.

Yet beautiful, the danger of trying to reach the top is not lost on the movie creators. Mountain juxtaposes the beauty of the scenery with the danger that mountain climbing entails quite well. And does justice in representing those who will risk it all to conquer the mountain.

Team Foxcatcher

In 1997, John du Pont, heir to the du Pont family fortune and long-time U.S. wrestling benefactor was convicted of murder.

In Team Foxcatcher, Director John Greenhalgh reveals the events that led up to the murder of one of the U.S.’s most successful wrestlers at that time. The film has all the makings of a good true crime investigation.

Through interviews with friends and family, viewers begin to see how du Pont’s seemingly perfect life starts to unravel. The movie dives into the world of misplaced loyalties, paranoia, and dysfunction.

Rated TV-14, the subject matter is a bit mature. While, okay for older children you may want to charge up the iPad to keep your younger ones distracted for this one.


Have you ever watched an Oscar-winning documentary? Now’s your chance.

Icarus is a true thriller. Highlighting what starts out as a small investigation into cyclists suspected of doping. Then twists and turns into what becomes the road to uncovering the biggest international doping scandal in history.

Like any good thriller, it is full of suspense and surprise as it uncovers the truth. There are cover-ups, suspicious deaths and international politics at play. Everything a mystery enthusiast wants to see.

This movie is loaded with adult language and it may be too intense for younger viewers. Your high schoolers will surely enjoy the ever-increasing snowball of criminality.


Don’t think cheerleading is a sport? Cheer will convince you otherwise. You’ll get a surprising backstage look at one of the most elite cheerleading squads in the nation, Navarro College in Texas.

Led by their ultra-competitive coach Monica Aldama, they routinely risk their lives to execute death-defying stunts. You’ll get an up-close look at the backbreaking work, talent and sheer guts it takes to be in competitive cheerleading. And you’ll gain a new respect for these dedicated athletes along the way.

Losing Sight of Shore

In this inspiring documentary, we follow the journey of four incredibly brave women as they row from America to Australia. The grueling, 8000-mile trip took the Coxless Crew nine months to complete.

The mental and physical challenges they overcame in a bid to make history would make most people quiver. You’ll be impressed by this story of courage, perseverance and friendship throughout Losing Sight of Shore.

Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton

Laird Hamilton isn’t just another surfer. He’s a fearless innovator and icon that changed big wave surfing forever in Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton.

Even if you’re not a surf fan, you’ll be awestruck by his thrilling exploits and intrigued by this personal look at the psyche of an extreme athlete. The spectacular scenery, as well as, the killer waves will also blow you away.

Definitely catch this documentary!


No athlete sets out to lose. But the best ones know how to overcome failure and use it to their best advantage.

Losers explores how some world-class athletes took their losses and turned them into opportunities for growth. A lesson we can all apply in everyday life.

The Dawn Wall

You don’t have to be a rock climber to appreciate this thrilling documentary.

From the safety of your own couch, you can accompany climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgenson in their attempt to climb the Dawn Wall, a 3000-foot sheer rock face in Yosemite.

Their expedition not only took years of training but the determination to overcome personal obstacles along the way. You’ll find yourself rooting for these brave (some would say crazy) athletes as they attempt to reach the pinnacle of greatness.

Harry and Snowman

Keep the tissue box close for this touching documentary. Veteran and immigrant Harry deLeyer saves a horse from the glue factory and wins the triple crown of jumping just two years later. You’ll want to be along for the whole ride of Harry and Snowman.


Okay, maybe you’re not into football. But we all love a Cinderella story, right?

You’ll find yourself cheering for the Manassas Tigers, a perennial team of underdogs who attempt to rewrite their story and win a playoff game for the first time in 110 years during Undefeated.

Go team!

These 12 movies draw a crowd for many reasons other than sports. So make some popcorn, gather the family and get comfortable you’re in for a long night of movie binging!

Sherry De Alba

Sherry De Alba

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