It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team, and they’ve equipped our family with a streaming account to drive discussion.
So, like pretty much everybody else, we’ve been watching the Olympics. (We take the Games seriously. Check out the Elton Family Extreme Winter Olympics 2010 here.)
We think Bobsleigh is fun to say (BOBSLEIGH!!) and the double luge is insane (the guy on the bottom does the bulk of the steering, but he can’t see the track, did you know that?!), and I was only able to bear a little bit of the ice skating (I HATE when they fall, I feel so terrible for them).
I was thinking about what sets the Olympics apart from other televised sports. Partially it’s the global aspect, and partially it’s the sports we don’t get to see every day (the world clearly needs more curling). But mostly I think it’s the emphasis on The Dream, the working together for this moment, the uplifting backstories, the overwhelming positivity, versus the focus on negativity, the missed shots, the rivalries that you see in most pro sport coverage.
It’s a lovely thing to focus on: how a dream, a support system, teamwork, and a whole lot of determination and hard work can mean a moment of a lifetime, even if you don’t get the gold. And if you fail, well, your whole country feels your pain. (Probably a lot of others, too.)
After the Games are over, after the ice and snow melt so the kids can’t pretend to compete in speed skating or BOBSLEIGH!! for another year, you can still keep that enjoyment of athletic competition, perseverance and go-for-the-gold spirit going by watching some of these movies as a family (they’re all available on Netflix streaming).
I can personally vouch for the Air Bud movies; my brother loved these when he was young and my daughter has watched every one in existence. I have some issues with plot lines with holes you could drive a Peterbilt truck through, but they definitely reinforce the feeling of teamwork and anything can happen if you try. (And, of course, it’s really fun to watch a dog play ball. Any kind of ball.)
|1. The Short Game
2. The Kid
3. The Pistol
4. A Mile in His Shoes
5. Winning Favor
|6. The Mighty Macs
7. Like Mike 2: Streetball
8. Air Bud: World Pup
9. Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch
10. Air Bud Spikes Back
They’ll help inspire your kids to imagine themselves as Olympic hopefuls, whatever their sport may be.
Cass hasn’t decided yet.
Adults and older kids can extend the Olympic feeling by streaming titles like The Fabulous Ice Age (a new Netflix-only documentary that tells the history of figure skating), SEC Storied: Lolo Jones, Usain Bolt: The Fastest Man Alive, Backwards (about an Olympic-hopeful rower), and Lindsey Vonn: In the Moment.
And with any luck, the Phillies will have an inspirational season we can enjoy as a family, too!
What are your favorite Olympic events?
How about inspiring sports movies?
Bonus! Here’s a tutorial to make your own medals.