Olympic Glory

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary, Sports

As a mega-scale Wide World of Sports-style highlight reel, it's OK. But as a serious look at the events and personalities of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, this Imax documentary is disappointing. It features some impressive snippets of footage featuring ski jumpers, speed skaters and the like, but fails to educate, inspire or inform in any depth....read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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As a mega-scale Wide World of Sports-style highlight reel, it's OK. But as a serious look at the events and personalities of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, this Imax documentary is disappointing. It features

some impressive snippets of footage featuring ski jumpers, speed skaters and the like, but fails to educate, inspire or inform in any depth. Early on, it appears the focus will be two very different cross-country skiers. Norwegian Bjorn Daehlie hopes to become the world's greatest Winter

Olympian, which -- despite the film's lip service to the notion that Olympic glory and honor lie in the trying, not the medals -- clearly means the winningest Winter Olympian. Kenyan Philip Boit, by contrast, has trained as a cross-country runner; by participating in the 10-meter

cross-country ski race, he becomes his snowless country's first-ever Winter Olympian. But having been introduced, Daehlie and Boit are promptly abandoned until the end, replaced by a flurry of short segments showcasing largely anonymous hockey players, snowboarders, figure skaters and bobsledders

doing what they do best (the POV shots from a bobsled hurtling down an icy course are probably the most exciting few seconds of the whole film), interspersed with computer-animated demonstrations of sports physics and a segment on the development of new ice skates that have increased speed skating

times a whopping 2 percent. Though the devotion and enthusiasm of the competitors is unimpeachable, it's hard not to wish the filmmakers had taken a few tips from Leni Riefenstahl's 1938 OLYMPIAD: Riefenstahl's politics aside, she captured the grace and dedication of world-class athletes with a

skill that makes OLYMPIAD as breathtaking as it was six decades ago. Director Kieth Merrill's film is throwaway stuff, full of TV-style editing and hot-dogging skiers doing stunts to the beat of thumping rock music.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: As a mega-scale Wide World of Sports-style highlight reel, it's OK. But as a serious look at the events and personalities of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, this Imax documentary is disappointing. It features some impressive snippets of footage… (more)

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