7 best sports documentaries & movies to watch on Showmax this weekend

The Weight of Gold

In April 2017, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Brett Rapkin conducted an emotional interview with Olympic bobsled captain Steven Holcomb. Only days later, Holcomb committed suicide, leaving Brett with the difficult decision of either scrapping his documentary entirely or broadening its subject matter. He chose the latter, honouring Steve’s memory and legacy by shining a light on the staggering number of Olympians struggling with mental health issues of their own. 

The Weight of Gold is narrated by Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals. He opens up about his post-Olympics drunk driving arrests and his own battle with suicidal thoughts. “We’re just so lost, ’cause we spent four years grinding for that one moment, and now we don’t know what the hell to do,” says Michael of Olympians post-Olympics. “I think it’s probably safe to say that a good 80%, maybe more, go through some kind of post-Olympic depression.”

Kipchoge: The Last Milestone

On the morning of 12 October 2019 in Vienna, Kenya’s marathon legend and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge shattered “the last barrier to modern athletics” by running a marathon in under two hours, the first human to do so. This was one of the most inspiring achievements in sporting history and one that reaffirmed to the world Kipchoge’s personal philosophy that truly, “No human is limited.” This historic event birthed the inspiring documentary feature Kipchoge: The Last Milestone.

Kipchoge: The Last Milestone is an intimate portrait of Kipchoge as he prepares for his record-shattering feat. With unprecedented access to Kipchoge, the documentary follows his journey from his training grounds in Kenya to the high-tech facilities in Europe, to his record attempt in Vienna.

Directed by Emmy winner and Grammy nominee Jake Scott (American Woman), Kipchoge: The Last Milestone is executive-produced by Academy Awards nominee Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Thelma and Louise, Gucci) and Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland, One Day in September).

Chasing The Sun

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It’s a story for the ages – a team battered and bruised, with very little prospect of victory at an international championship, rises from the ashes to take the coveted crown.

That was the case for the Springboks in 2019 when they reclaimed the Rugby World Cup Championship trophy. Now, Chasing the Sun – a metaphor for the journey and five-part documentary series – tells the incredible tale of the Springboks’ unstoppable climb to glory as they lifted the Webb Ellis Cup.

The film crew had unfettered access to the team during the World Cup, including at coach Rassie Erasmus’s halftime change-room team talks, and during training and briefing, scenes that fans have never seen before. There were also extensive interviews with players, where they got to tell the story of their journey in their own words.

Tiger

HBO’s Tiger Woods documentary, Tiger, offers a revealing look at the rise, fall, and epic comeback of the global golfing icon. The series paints an intimate picture of the prodigy whose dedication and obsession with the game of golf brought him unimaginable fame and success, but also led him down a dark, spiralling path, and ultimately, to his legendary comeback, culminating in his victory at the 2019 Masters.

The two-part documentary features never-before-seen-footage and interviews with those who know Tiger Woods best, including his former caddy and close friend, Steve Williams; golf legend Sir Nick Faldo; his father Earl Woods’s friend and biographer, Pete McDaniel; Tiger’s first true love, Dina Parr; and Rachel Uchitel, the woman at the centre of the sex scandal that forever altered Tiger’s world, breaking her silence for the first time.

What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali

This two-part documentary, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), follows the challenges and triumphs of the iconic boxer Muhammad Ali and is told with recordings of his voice and archive footage, some of which has never been seen before.

Executive produced by another sporting legend, basketball star LeBron James, What’s My Name has a 93% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.6/10 rating on IMDb. As critic Richard Roeper wrote in The Chicago Sun-Times, “The greatness of What’s My Name is that if you’re young and you know very little of Muhammad Ali, this would be the perfect place to start learning about him — but if you remember Ali in his prime and you’re well-versed in his history, it’s still a must-see television event.”

I, Tonya

This Oscar-winning film is based on the life of figure skater Tonya Harding, who was implicated in the attack on rival Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. It stars Margot Robbie (Birds of Prey, Bombshell), Allison Janney (The Help, Hairspray, The West Wing), and Sebastian Stan (Avengers, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier).

For her role as Tonya’s abusive, abrasive mother, LaVona Golden, Janney won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress, while Margot Robbie was nominated for all these awards with her lead role.

Creed

Just when Sly Stallone started running out of ways to reboot Rambo and Rocky, along comes Rocky sequel and spin-off sports drama Creed: Rocky’s Legacy. Following Apollo Creed’s son Adonis or “Donnie”, we chart his rise to boxing stardom, from exiting a youth detention facility to seeking the guidance of his father’s rival and former heavyweight champ, Rocky Balboa.

Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson and Sylvester Stallone headline this entertaining, uplifting and powerful boxing drama under Ryan Coogler’s inspired direction. Also catch the complete Rocky collection, with all six Rocky movies on Showmax.

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