The Winter Olympics on the big screen
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Winter Olympics in film

The Winter Olympics on the big screen
The Winter Olympics are just around the corner. To get in the mood for the games, here’s a look at Hollywood’s take on the international sporting tradition. So cozy up with some hot cocoa, wave your favorite flag and click through our gallery of some of the most memorable big screen portrayals of the Winter Olympics.  (MGM; Fox; Disney; Paramount)
‘Downhill Racer’ | 1969
Featured game: Downhill skiing

Plot: Robert Redford stars as cocky downhill skier David Chappellet who’s asked to join the U.S. ski team when a member is injured. He does, but due to his selfishness and misogyny, alienates himself from his teammates, his coach (Gene Hackman) and the women who want to be in his life.

Do they get the gold? Yes, though some may have been rooting against him if only to have him face a little humility. (Paramount Pictures)
‘The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner’ | 1974
Featured game: Ski jumping

Plot: Werner Herzog’s documentary about popular Swiss ski jumper Walter Steiner, who works as a carpenter for his full-time occupation, explored the everyman’s quest to fly, and the euphoric feeling he experiences when he does.

Do they get the gold? Not Olympic gold -- he won silver in 1972 -- but in the World Championships, he won individual gold in 1972 and in 1977.

 (New Yorker Films)
Roger Moore as James Bond in 1981’s “For Your Eyes Only.”
Featured sports: Biathlon, ski jump, ice hockey, downhill skiing, ice skating, cross-country skiing and bobsled.

Plot: James Bond (Roger Moore) is sent to retrieve the Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator, which controls and communicates with the Royal Navy’s Polaris submarines, aboard a sunken spy boat before it falls into Soviet hands. Although not necessarily an Olympics movie, the film does feature many winter Olympic sports as 007 escapes attacks and attempts to complete his mission. The movie was also partially shot at Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, the site of the 1956 Winter Olympics.

Do they get the gold? Bond comes away with neither a gold medal, nor the Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator. (Keith Hamshere / Getty Images)
‘The Cutting Edge’ | 1992
Featured game: Figure skating

Plot: A wealthy, world-class figure skater with an attitude (Moira Kelly) drives away all potential skating partners. Finally, she’s paired with a former ice hockey player (D.B. Sweeney), despite his dislike for figure skating. Eventually, the duo become solid as partners both on and off the ice.

Do they get the gold? Almost. The couple competes in the 1988 Winter Olympics and becomes one of the top pairs competing for gold. (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
‘Cool Runnings’ | 1993
Featured sport: Bobsled

Plot: Jamaican runner Derice Bannock (Leon) fails to qualify for the Olympics 100-yard sprint after he’s tripped, but when he discovers that disgraced Olympian Irv Blitzer (John Candy) is on the island, Derice convinces him to a lead the first Jamaican bobsled team to the Winter Games in Calgary. The tale is loosely based on the 1988 debut of Jamaica’s Olympic bobsled team

Do they get the gold? No, but they get a moving slow-clap from their former bullies and doubters.

Pictured above are Doug E. Doug as Sanka Coffie, Malik Yoba as Yul Brenner, Rawle D. Lewis as Junior Bevil, John Candy as Irv and Leon as Derice. (Walt Disney Co.)
‘D2: The Mighty Ducks’ | 1994
Featured sport: Junior Goodwill Games hockey

Plot: So it’s not technically the Olympics, but in this sequel to 1992’s blockbuster hit “The Mighty Ducks,” Coach Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) is recruited to coach Team USA in the Junior Goodwill Games. Several Ducks players make the team, along with some newcomers, including two goons dubbed the “Bash Brothers” and a girl who plays goalie. But the coach and the players have to overcome their own egos to stand a chance at defeating Iceland’s disciplined team.

Do they get the gold? They win the tournament, thanks to a miraculous save by the new goalie. The team even sings “We Are the Champions” by Queen as the credits roll.  (Meila Penn / Walt Disney Pictures)
‘Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story’ | 1994
Featured sport: Figure skating

Plot: This quickie TV movie -- airing just months after the January 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan -- focused on the rivalry between Kerrigan and Tonya Harding as they both attempted to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team. The rivalry eventually led to Harding’s ex-husband hiring a guy to club Kerrigan on the knee.

Do they get the gold? No. Kerrigan skated to a silver medal in the 1994 Winter Olympics, while Harding only placed 8th.  (Paul Drinkwater / NBC)
‘Ice Angel’ | 2000
Featured sports: Ice hockey and figure skating.

Plot: When Olympic hopeful Matt Clark (Aaron Smolinski) dies during his hockey game, an angel sends his spirit back for a chance to go for the gold -- as a figure skater. He wakes up in the body of Sara Bryan (Nicholle Tom) and must learn everything he can about figure skating from rival competitor Tracy (Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski) in order to make his Olympic dream a reality.

Do they get the gold? Matt as Sara cheers on his best friend and former hockey teammates who take the gold over the Russian team. As for Sara, it is implied she wins the gold as the movie fades away after she skates a flawless program, including landing a triple axel.  (Fox Family)
‘Miracle'| 2004
Featured game: Ice hockey

Plot: Based on a true story, the tale centers on Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), an ice hockey player-turned-coach who takes a team of college kids, whips them into shape, and leads them to victory in the 1980 Winter Olympics against the impossible-to-beat Russian squad.

Do they get the gold? Oh yes. The USA team wins gold, dubbing the moment a miracle on ice -- and proving that differences can be settled by games.  (Chris Large / Disney Enterprises Inc. )
‘Blades of Glory’ | 2007
Featured game: Figure skating

Plot: When two rival Olympic ice skaters (Will Ferrell and Jon Heder) tie for gold at the 2002 World Winter Sport Game, they end up in a public scuffle that strips away their gold medals and eligibility to compete in the men’s singles competition. Somehow they find a loophole that gets them into the competition -- as a pair. When it’s their time to shine, they put behind their troubles and skate their way to gold.

Do they get the gold? Of course. And with their win, they soar into the sky through rockets on their skates.  (Melinda Sue Gordon / Paramount Pictures)
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