Nothing brings us as a nation together quite like the Olympic Games. When an Aussie athlete takes home gold, we cry tears of it. As in, enough to fill up a 500m pool for Dawn Fraser and Ian Thorpe to swim in and only make us cry more. If like me, you can’t get enough of seeing our athletes—and others from across the globe—kill it, and want to hear about the human stories behind the Olympic stadiums, you’ll love a good documentary, too.
So, without further adieu, here are nine of the best Olympic documentaries you can watch in Australia, from one of the biggest scandals in sports history to our true blue local heroes.
The best Olympic documentaries
I Am Bolt
An Olympic documentary about Usain Bolt, the Jamaican three-time Olympic gold medalist and fastest man in history.
Available on Stan.
A doco about the smashingly historic achievements of Aussie sprinter and Kuku Yalanji and Birri Gubba woman Cathy Freeman. It feels like an understatement to call this one of the best homegrown Olympic documentaries around.
Watch it on ABC iView.
A documentary about Aussie Olympic swimming legend Dawn Fraser covering her life, winning gold and the 1964 Tokyo Games.
Available on ABC iView.
Icarus looks into the infamous Russian Olympics doping scandal of 2016. After a simple chat with a Russian scientist, an American cyclist uncovers a plot by the Russian Government to offer performance-enhancing medication to a number of Russian medal-winning athletes.
Catch this Olympic documentary about arguably the biggest scandal in sports history on Netflix.
A factual Olympics documentary about the historic 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, where Adolf Hitler turned the event into a far-right propaganda opportunity.
Available on SBS On Demand.
A documentary about the Paralympic Games, and the impact it has on international understanding of disability, diversity, and disabled-bodied excellence.
Available on Netflix.
A documentary about the investigation into USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was found guilty of sexually abusing hundreds of girls and young women while he was the team doctor of the United States women’s national gymnastics team for 18 years.
Available on Netflix.
Simone vs Herself
Simone vs Herself is a multi-part documentary series about American Olympic gymnast Simone Biles in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It’s one of the most recent (and topical) Olympic documentaries right now.
Available on Facebook here.
Ian Thorpe: The Swimmer
A documentary about Aussie swimmer and 11 World Championship gold medalist Ian Thorpe’s failed comeback during the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Available on Apple TV.
For more eye-opening docos, check out our guide to the best documentaries on Netflix here.