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Let's Go To the Tape

Got gold fever? Here's our festival of noteworthy Olympics flicks

Chariots of Fire | ON 'FIRE' Maurice Greene had better watch his back
Image credit: Chariots of Fire: 20th Century Fox/Allied Stars/Enigma/The Kobal Collection
ON 'FIRE' Maurice Greene had better watch his back

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.

Gymnacting!
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!

Originally posted Aug 11, 2004