Chariots of Fire: 20th Century Fox/Allied Stars/Enigma/The Kobal Collection
Whitney Pastorek
August 13, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Got gold fever? Watch these Olympics flicks

NBC promises the Athens Games will be the most ”in-depth” Olympic broadcast in history (Aug. 11?29, 2004). But just in case that still isn’t enough, check out these flicks.

Mitch Gaylord scored a perfect 10 in 1984, then scored a role in 1986’s ”American Anthem” as…a gymnast! Kurt Thomas never won an Olympic medal (damn that 1980 U.S. boycott!), but in ”Gymkata” (1985), he tumbles his way to martial-arts gold! And who can forget Mary Lou Retton in 1988’s ”Scrooged”?

Cool Runnings
”Chariots of Fire” (1981, pictured), about slo-mo running at the 1924 Games, defines the genre. Steve Prefontaine’s early death won him two biopics (1997’s ”Prefontaine” has the best lines: ”Give up your foolish dreams, Steeeve!”). Then there’s 1982’s ”Personal Best.” Um, it’s not about girls kissing; it’s about track.

Triumph of the Spirit
Bob Costas dreams of stories like these: WWII-era Jewish fencer Ralph Fiennes converts to Christianity in ”Sunshine” (1999). Wee Bill Travers bulks up to hammer-throw in ”Geordie” (1955). And in ”You’re the Greatest, Charlie Brown” (1979), Chuck overcomes his own giant head to compete in the school Olympics.

Chill Out
For a look forward to the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, and to our favorite event, there’s 1992’s ”The Cutting Edge.” D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly are a tempestuous pair of figure skaters who try to master the physics-defying Pamchenko — and find love along the way. Toe pick!

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