10 sports documentaries that are about so much more than sports

These films will make you laugh, cry, and yell at the TV — even if you've never watched sports a day in your life.

A screenshot from the Usain Bolt's I AM BOLT documentary

Every two years, countless people find themselves emotionally invested in sports they otherwise never watch. The Olympics have their issues, but there’s something about them that can pull almost anyone in — and it’s not really the sports. The Games feel like they’re about people: their dreams, their grit, their challenges, and their humanity. Like the Olympics, the best sports documentaries have an alluring quality that goes beyond the sports themselves. These 10 films captivate us with epic journeys, shocking plot twists, devastating revelations, and unparalleled inspiration.

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I Am Bolt (2016)

In every generation, there’s a handful of athletes who truly transcend sport. Usain Bolt is one of them. The Jamaican sprinter and world’s fastest man seems almost superhuman, but of course, he’s not. I Am Bolt offers an up-close look at the man behind the glory. The documentary chronicles Bolt’s journey to his “triple triple” Olympic gold record, including his intense training and his life off the track — some clips are even shot by Bolt himself.