The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Choose another collection

Olympics on Film

Film loves spectacle, and one sporting contest delivers more than any other. Here, we carry the torch for over a century of Olympian endeavour.

Barely a year separates the birth of film and the first modern Olympics. The two have grown together, their innovations and rituals inseparably bound. Our collection includes footage from many of the most memorable Games of the last century, and explores Olympian endeavour beyond the Games - the training and preparation, the unflagging dedication to excellence in competition after competition, the triumphant homecomings. In our LOLympics collection, we salute the champions of cheese rolling, pea pushing and uphill beer barrel racing, all (so far) sadly denied official Olympic status.

Throughout, the Olympic spirit shines through, nowhere more so than in the films showing the successful fight for recognition of athletes with disabilities, culminating in the rise and rise of the Paralympic Games. Hold that torch high!

triangle triangle
Olympics on Film

RECOMMENDED

View Flashing Blades
Flashing Blades
Watch for free 9 mins

Flashing Blades 1948

Tricky weather conditions cause some spills in the downhill and ski jumping at the 1948 Winter Olympics in St Moritz.

9 mins United Kingdom Director. William de Lane Lea

View The Wheelchair Olympians
The Wheelchair Olympians
Watch for free

The Wheelchair Olympians 1983

With the Paralympics even more marginalised than today, these athletes show great determination, dedication, camaraderie and humility.

26 mins United Kingdom

View Mining Review 22nd Year No. 1
Mining Review 22nd Year No. 1
Watch for free 9 mins

Mining Review 22nd Year No. 1 1968

We're off! Olympic training on the streets of Mansfield as local boy John Whetton prepares for the 1968 Mexico City games.

9 mins United Kingdom

View Women's Olympiad
Women's Olympiad
Watch for free 2 mins

Women's Olympiad 1924

British "girl athletes" prove themselves in competition with women from around the world at Stamford Bridge.

2 mins United Kingdom

View Diving and Swimming
Diving and Swimming
Watch for free 10 mins

Diving and Swimming 1926

Special effects galore in this demonstration of fancy swimming and diving, featuring Olympic medallist Belle White.

10 mins United Kingdom Director. John Betts

View Olga
Olga
Watch for free

Olga 1973

A rare insight into gymnast Olga Korbut's life at the height of her fame, showing the discipline it takes to be an Olympic champion.

52 mins United Kingdom Director. John Sheppard

BROWSE THE COLLECTION

View Eddie the Eagle
Eddie the Eagle
Watch from £3.83
HD

Eddie the Eagle 2016 PG

Relive the inspiring story of one of Britain’s most memorable Olympic characters, with Taron Egerton as the ski-jumper who made history at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

106 mins Germany Director. Dexter Fletcher

View Fast Girls
Fast Girls
Watch from £2.98
HD

Fast Girls 2012 12A

The four young runners on the Team GB women's relay team battle to overcome rivalries and personal demons in time for the World Athletics Championship.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Regan Hall

View Race
Race
Watch from £3.83
HD

Race 2016 PG

The remarkable story of Jesse Owens, the grandson of a slave whose athletic feats defied Nazi ideology at the 1936 Olympics.

134 mins Canada Director. Stephen Hopkins

View What Makes Johnnie Run?
What Makes Johnnie Run?
Watch from £0.85

What Makes Johnnie Run? 1968

Athletes competing for selection for the 1968 Olympics reveal what motivates them to train, and what spurs them on to win.

30 mins United Kingdom Director. Grahame Turner

View Mining Review 5th Year No. 10
Mining Review 5th Year No. 10
Watch for free 10 mins

Mining Review 5th Year No. 10 1952

From pick to paddle: Nottinghamshire miner Billy Churm in training for the Olympic canoeing event in Helsinki.

10 mins United Kingdom

View Athens 1896
Athens 1896
Watch for free 1 mins

Athens 1896 1906

Is this 1896 - or ten years later? An early snapshot of Olympic competition at Athens, the home of the Games.

1 mins Greece

View Olympic Games at Athens
Olympic Games at Athens
Watch for free 3 mins

Olympic Games at Athens 1906

It's the Olympics, but not as we know it - Athens does its own thing in 1906.

3 mins France

View Preparing for Olympic Honours
Preparing for Olympic Honours
Watch for free 1 mins

Preparing for Olympic Honours 1929

Thousands of rowers in procession on the lake Langer See in Grünau, Germany

1 mins United Kingdom

View Olympic Lassies
Olympic Lassies
Watch for free 1 mins

Olympic Lassies 1924

On your marks, get set, go! Women athletes in training at Battersea Park, London.

1 mins United Kingdom

View Wenlock Olympics
Wenlock Olympics
Watch for free 4 mins

Wenlock Olympics 1980

Much Wenlock has a special place in the history of the modern Olympic games - and perhaps it could help to resolve a potential crisis in Moscow.

4 mins United Kingdom

View Harrow Marathon and Shrove Tuesday in Pinner
Harrow Marathon and Shrove Tuesday in Pinner
Watch for free 3 mins

Harrow Marathon and Shrove Tuesday in Pinner 1984

Amateur newsreel covering the Harrow Marathon and a packed Shrove Tuesday event on Pinner High Street attended by Ronnie Barker.

3 mins United Kingdom

View Stockholm - The Olympic Games, 1912
Stockholm - The Olympic Games, 1912
Watch for free 9 mins

Stockholm - The Olympic Games, 1912 1912

Trials and tribulations in outdoor tennis, football, wrestling and marathon running at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games.

9 mins France

View Berlin and the Olympics, 1936
Berlin and the Olympics, 1936
Watch for free 15 mins

Berlin and the Olympics, 1936 1936

Bustling street scenes in the build-up to the 1936 Berlin Olympics and atmospheric shots of the opening ceremony.

15 mins United Kingdom

View The Olympic Flame
The Olympic Flame
Watch for free 7 mins

The Olympic Flame 1932

Is it a food or drink? Ovaltine takes the Gold at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

7 mins United Kingdom

View Olympics Games 1912
Olympics Games 1912
Watch for free 6 mins

Olympics Games 1912 1912

Death-defying rope gymnastics stun spectators at the Summer Olympics in Stockholm.

6 mins Great Britain

View The Olympia Leap
The Olympia Leap
Watch for free 1 mins

The Olympia Leap 1930

All the daredevil action captured by newsreel cameras perched at the top of the ski jump at St Moritz.

1 mins United Kingdom

View The Odyssey
The Odyssey
Watch from £0.85

The Odyssey 2012

A capital city on the road to Olympic glory: London's journey from the Olympic bid to the spectacular opening ceremony.

35 mins United Kingdom Director. Asif Kapadia

View Rowing in Henley 1948 Olympics
Rowing in Henley 1948 Olympics
Watch for free 4 mins

Rowing in Henley 1948 Olympics 1948

From the Austerity Games of 1948 comes G H Wooton's short film showing Olympic rowing events held at Henley-on-Thames

4 mins United Kingdom

View My Stoke Mandeville Story - June 1960 - April 1961
My Stoke Mandeville Story - June 1960 - April 1961
Watch for free

My Stoke Mandeville Story - June 1960 - April 1961 1960

Stoke Mandeville Hospital, birthplace of the Paralympic Games, hosts its 1960 sports jamboree - with basketball, archery and weight lifting

23 mins United Kingdom

View Olympiad 1948
Olympiad 1948
Watch for free 8 mins

Olympiad 1948 1948

The first post-war Olympic Games feature in John Bell's film from 1948 - with both the opening and closing ceremonies and an equestrian event

8 mins United Kingdom

View Olympic Trials
Olympic Trials
Watch for free 1 mins

Olympic Trials 1928

With neither gears nor lycra to help them, the cream of Britain's cyclists battle it out at the Herne Hill velodrome ahead of the 1928 Olympics.

1 mins United Kingdom

View CCPCC Cycling
CCPCC Cycling
Watch for free 13 mins

CCPCC Cycling 1947

Rare film of an exciting sprint and cycle racing event just after the war, capturing most of the large expectant crowd and many competitors.

13 mins United Kingdom

View The Olympic Games in Paris 1924
The Olympic Games in Paris 1924
Watch for free

The Olympic Games in Paris 1924 1924

The real Chariots of Fire heroes feature in this comprehensive look at the 1924 Olympic Games.

90 mins France

View Belfast Boxers
Belfast Boxers
Watch for free

Belfast Boxers 1993

The incredible highs and crushing lows of the Belfast's boxing community

30 mins Northern Ireland

View Harvey Smith
Harvey Smith
Watch for free

Harvey Smith 1968

“It isn’t the will to win, it’s that you don’t like to get beaten,” states the redoubtable Harvey Smith, revealed as smart, tough and easy going.

United Kingdom

View Walking Race
Walking Race
Watch for free 5 mins

Walking Race 1938

Participants come in all shapes and sizes to pound the streets of York and beguile the crowds with an eclectic range of pedestrianistic styles.

5 mins United Kingdom

View An Englishman's Horse
An Englishman's Horse
Watch for free

An Englishman's Horse 1973

Behind the scenes at horse trials at Eridge, including the final trial for British and US Olympic teams.

29 mins United Kingdom

View Mining Review 14th Year No. 3
Mining Review 14th Year No. 3
Watch for free 9 mins

Mining Review 14th Year No. 3 1960

Barnsley miner's daughter Dorothy Hyman sprints to Olympic glory in Rome.

9 mins United Kingdom

View Closing Days of the Olympic Games
Closing Days of the Olympic Games
Watch for free 9 mins

Closing Days of the Olympic Games 1948

The final few days of the 1948 London Olympics see an assortment of sports from a variety of venues.

9 mins United Kingdom

View The Olympic Games
The Olympic Games
Watch for free 8 mins

The Olympic Games 1948

The 1948 London Olympics see Wembley stadium host the athletics plus diving and the swimming at the Empire Pool.

8 mins United Kingdom

View Olympic Champions
Olympic Champions
Watch for free 3 mins

Olympic Champions 1928

British Empire Olympic athletes take on the USA in the track and field at Stamford Bridge.

3 mins United Kingdom

View Mining Review 18th Year No. 5
Mining Review 18th Year No. 5
Watch for free 10 mins

Mining Review 18th Year No. 5 1965

Michael Shelton and his gold medal in wheelchair snooker are rightly celebrated by the mining community of Newstead.

10 mins United Kingdom

View Appointment at Kiel
Appointment at Kiel
Watch for free

Appointment at Kiel 1973

Britain's sailing team competes in selection trials at Weymouth and preparations are underway at Kiel for the 1972 Olympics.

58 mins United Kingdom

View Blackpool. Final Trial
Blackpool. Final Trial
Watch for free 2 mins

Blackpool. Final Trial 1928

Watch out! Splashes aplenty as female swimmers and divers compete to represent Great Britain in the 1928 Olympics.

2 mins United Kingdom

View Olympic Cyclist Colin Lewis
Olympic Cyclist Colin Lewis
Watch for free 5 mins

Olympic Cyclist Colin Lewis 1966

Olympian Cyclist Colin Lewis is interviewed by David Vine

5 mins United Kingdom

View Olympic Aspirants
Olympic Aspirants
Watch for free 1 mins

Olympic Aspirants 1928

German athletes compete for the chance to represent their country in the 1928 Summer Olympics.

1 mins United Kingdom

View Home From Melbourne: Well Done! British Boxers
Home From Melbourne: Well Done! British Boxers
Watch for free 1 mins

Home From Melbourne: Well Done! British Boxers 1956

The 1956 British Olympic boxing team arrives at Heathrow, returning from a successful Games in Melbourne.

1 mins United Kingdom

View Mining Review 1st Year No. 7
Mining Review 1st Year No. 7
Watch for free 10 mins

Mining Review 1st Year No. 7 1948

Eclectic mix of post-war stories from the world of coal, including a Dumfermline miner in training for the Winter Olympics.

10 mins United Kingdom

View Tug of War
Tug of War
Watch for free 4 mins

Tug of War 1975

Their training regime includes lifting a lump of concrete into a tree - meet the Leicester tug-of-war team preparing to take on the world.

4 mins United Kingdom

View Cheese Rolling
Cheese Rolling
Watch for free

Cheese Rolling 1960

Injuries abound as the annual cheese rolling at Cooper's Hill near Brockworth claims its usual victims.

United Kingdom

View Stuntwoman Human Cannonball
Stuntwoman Human Cannonball
Watch for free 3 mins

Stuntwoman Human Cannonball 1975

Human Cannonball Mary Connors has the guts and determination of any Olympian, proving she really is a she performing at Knebworth House, 1975.

3 mins United Kingdom

View Pipe Smoking Contest
Pipe Smoking Contest
Watch for free 2 mins

Pipe Smoking Contest 1963

A piano player, a magician or sandwiches, which would motivate you to smoke the longest?

2 mins Northern Ireland

View Wirksworth Uphill Beer Barrel Race
Wirksworth Uphill Beer Barrel Race
Watch for free 6 mins

Wirksworth Uphill Beer Barrel Race 1976

At their secret Peak District training camp outside Wirksworth a group of elite athletes prepare for an extreme sporting challenge.

6 mins United Kingdom

View Haggis Hurling
Haggis Hurling
Watch for free 5 mins

Haggis Hurling 1980

Meet the president leading the haggis hurling revival and learn how delivering lunch became a sport for kilted gentlemen.

5 mins Northern Ireland

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts


Never ask | Ask me later