Olympic hangover? Here are five sports documentaries you should watch

Aug 11, 2021
PHOTO: Courtesy of Netflix

STILL feeling that Olympic hangover?

Believe us, we understand.

It's understandable, especially after being treated to what was easily the Philippines' biggest Olympic medal haul, led by weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who delivered the nation's first ever gold medal.

The high will still likely remain as we celebrate the homecoming of our valiant athletes.

But with the Olympics now over, there are boatloads of sports documentaries which could help you quench that thirst for sports as we continue to wade through this global COVID-19 pandemic.

SPIN Life lists five documentaries which you should binge on in the coming days.

Untold: Malice at the Palace (2021)

NBA fans know the story.

The Indiana Pacers, reeling from a runner-up finish in the Eastern Conference Finals the year prior, came to the 2004-05 season with grand aspirations for a championship run. Would the new season give Reggie Miller his first ever NBA crown?

But an early season melee against fierce rival Detroit Pistons flushed all those hopes away... while also dealing a big hit to the league's image.

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Seventeen years later, main figures of that brawl, like Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest), Jermaine O'Neal, and Stephen Jackson, executives like Donnie Walsh, and other key figures in the incident speak up about what really transpired inside The Palace of Auburn Hills.

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It's the first of the five-part Untold documentary series, produced by Chapmanand Maclain Way, and released last Tuesday on Netflix.

Succeeding topics of the Untold series include the life of lady boxer Christy Martin, the struggles and transformation of Olympic decathlete Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner), the controversial backstory behind minor league hockey team Danbury Trashers, and the friendship and rivalry between Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish. The episodes will released in the coming weeks.

Watch on Netflix.

Luc Longley: One Giant Leap (2021)

Consider this the lost episodes of last year's hit The Last Dance.

The two-part ABC Australia special gives the limelight to legend Luc Longley, who was part of the famed Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls squad and his life in the NBA.

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It also gives a glimpse on Longley's impact in Australian basketball, especially when he served as an assistant coach for the men's national basketball team, the Boomers.

The special can be seen on ABC Australia's website and is also available on YouTube.

It's a must-watch, especially since the Boomers made history in Japan recently, winning the bronze medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics behind the wizardry of Patty Mills.

Watch Part 1 and Part 2 on YouTube.

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    Icarus (2017)

    Wondering why the Russian athletes in Tokyo fought under the banner of Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and not Russia?

    The Netflix documentary film by Bryan Fogel puts the spotlight on the issue as it uncovers the state-wide doping scandal orchestrated by Russia.

    Grigory Rodchenkov, the head of the Russian anti-doping laboratory, moved forward as a whistleblower, even as he received death threats and saw two of his associates mysteriously die as the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) investigated the matter.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Russia, however, still continues to deny the allegations.

    WADA banned Russia from participating under its flag and only allowed individually cleared athletes to participate in Japan.

    Watch on Netflix.

    Anatomy of Gable Steveson: Journey to the Tokyo Olympics (2021)

    The latest to come out of the YouTube channel Anatomy of a Fighter, the 39-minute documentary gives a perspective on how American wrestler Gable Steveson prepared for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

    It's an interesting take on the physical and mental preparations he's had ahead of his campaign in Japan.

    All these efforts bore fruit as Steveson pulled an amazing comeback from Georgia's Geno Petriashvili in the finals of the men's freestyle 125 kg to come away with the gold medal.

    Watch on YouTube.

    Naomi Osaka (2021)

    Film45 and Uninterrupted, the media companies of LeBron James and Maverick Carter, produced this three-episode docu-miniseries directed by Garrett Bradley.

    Following the life of Naomi Osaka, this takes the viewers on a ride as the champion netter shares the struggles and the pressures she had to endure over the course of two years. These struggles came to light when Osaka withdrew from the French Open on May of this year, citing mental health concerns.

    Continue reading below ↓

    The three-parter also takes an inside look at the life of the Japanese professional tennis player.

    Osaka represented her country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but could only get to as far as the round of 16 in the women's singles event.

    Watch on Netflix.

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    PHOTO: Courtesy of Netflix
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