2024 Paris Summer Olympics: Films to Get You in the Spirit of the Games


Personal, true stories of how sports can change everything.

This summer, the world's best athletes will descend on Paris, France to compete for the chance to win both medals and glory. From gymnastics and swimming to track and field, the competition is stacked, and though most of us will be watching from home, the heat of the Olympics is as alive as ever.

As we await the scores of our favorite athletes, share in the love for and community of sports by watching WORLD films that tell true, personal and diverse stories of the thrill of the games. 

If you're going to watch the surfing competition in Teahupo'o, Tahiti, see how young surfers train in
Surf Nation:
Surf Nation | Doc World
Premiering July 18 on TV, online, on YouTube & on the PBS app

In Hainan, China’s southernmost province, hundreds of athletes as young as 9-years-old train as part of the Chinese National Surf team. The young recruits, who have left their families, feel the pressure of failure. Over the course of two years, the film follows two of the country's top surfers, Alex, 17, and Lolo, 22, as they train, compete, and discover what they want their lives to be.

And then explore the international appeal of the sport with Keep It a Secret:
Keep It a Secret | Doc World
July 18 on TV, online & the PBS app | Available now on PBS Passport, Apple TV+ and Prime Video

In 1972, every international sporting event in Ireland was cancelled...except for one. Surf pioneers transcended The Troubles' hostilities to host the '72 Eurosurf Championship. The film recounts the inspiring story of the dawn of Irish surfing, revealing how the sport gave young people hope while forever changing their lives, and how their community would leave a lasting impression upon Ireland.

More into the track and field competition? Road Runners follows high school athletes with big dreams:
Road Runners | Doc World
Available on PBS Passport, Apple TV+ and Prime Video

In Montego Bay, young athletes prepare to compete in the island’s greatest sporting event: Champs. See what it means to grow up in Jamaica, and learn why these students are striving for success that can determine their lives.

Vahiné Fierro has qualified for the 2024 Olympics, and would have a bit of a home court advantage during the competition in Teahupo'o...watch what surfing means to her, her family and her Polynesian culture.
Daughters of the Waves | Pacific Heartbeat
Available now online & on the PBS app

Although only 20, Vahine Fierro is undaunted by the Teahupoo wave, considered the most dangerous in the world. Vahine surfs as no other Polynesian girl has ever surfed. In Tahitian culture, riding the waves is an ancestral activity from which women had been gradually eliminated, but now surfing is open to women, just in time for the Olympics. Coming from an entire family of surfers, Vahine and her two sisters hope to make a living with their passion and travel the world.

American football might not be an Olympic sport, but you can get your fix by watching these heated HBCU rivalries:
HBCU Week: Tradition and Competition | Local, USA
Available online, on YouTube & on the PBS app

Dive into HBCU football culture. Witness the rivalry of Hampton & Howard, a testament to tradition and spirit, and appreciate the intensity of an NC A&T vs. NC Central game, a match steeped in proximity and pride. The episode showcases the blend of camaraderie and competition that defines HBCU sports, highlighting their impact on African American communities.

Which of your favorite athletes are representing the United States on the Olympic basketball team? At HBCUs, the CIAA is the most important tournament of the year.
HBCU Week: Beyond the Field | Local, USA
Available online, on YouTube & on the PBS app

Head inside the heart of HBCUs. Experience the CIAA in Maryland, a cornerstone of Black athletics history, and feel the electrifying atmosphere of Louisiana's Bayou Classic – an annual showdown between Grambling State and Southern University. The episode offers a unique look beyond sports, highlighting the culture, history, and community spirit that define HBCUs.

Itching for winter sports? Listen to an inspiring story by Olympic ski jumper Nick Fairall:
Game On! | Stories from the Stage
Available online & on the PBS app

You can’t win if you don’t play – and playing can make all the difference. Nora Meiners fills in the blanks as the missing pieces person at a jigsaw puzzle company; Olympian ski jumper Nick Fairall tells how one leap changed his life forever; and on his first hunting trip, John Stewart fears disappointing his dad, an avid hunter.

And travel back to Sochi, Russia with American Paralympic athletes:
Ice Warriors | Medal Quest
Available on the PBS app

Follow the U.S. sled hockey team on their road to the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. These remarkable competitors – experienced athletes and rookie players, high school students and military veterans wounded in action – shared one goal: to make history with a repeat gold medal win.

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