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The Official Films Of The Olympic Games:
Atlanta- 1996

This three hour special compilation of the highlights of the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta captured by legendary film maker Bud Greenspan. This stunning compendium recalls the many great moments from Atlanta in a visual feast of sporting history including many featured athletes: Josia Thugwane (South African) - The 99 pound coal mine security guard becomes the first black South African ever to win an Olympic gold medal by winning the marathon. Michael Johnson (USA) - After failing to qualify in the 200 meters in 1992, he leaves nothing to chance in Atlanta. He fulfils his Olympic destiny and becomes the first man to win the 200 meters and 400 meters in the same Olympiad. Jackie Joyner-Kersee (USA) & Ghada Shouaa (Syria) - Joyner-Kersee is known as "the world's greatest female athlete" based on her world record and two Olympic gold medals. Sadly, Atlanta proves to be the end of her heptathlon Olympic career due to a hamstring injury but characteristically she returns five days later to win the long jump bronze. Ghada improved on her 25th place finish in Barcelona to leave Atlanta as a national hero after winning the gold and providing Syria with their first Olympic medal in any sport. Carl Lewis (USA) - Perhaps the most versatile and enduring champion in Olympic history, Lewis wins his fourth straight gold medal in the Long Jump, and his ninth gold overall. Inger Miller (USA) - Miller’s father and coach, Lennox Miller, won the 1968 silver and 1972 bronze medals in the 100 meters for Jamaica, watched as she finished fourth in the 200 meters; and also when she won the first gold for the family in the US 4 x 100 relay.

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The Official Films Of The Olympic Games:
Barcelona- 1992

Over 9000 athletes representing 169 countries attended the XXVth Olympic Games in Barcelona. There were a total of 26 sports and the total number of medal events was a record 259. There were 3 demonstration sports: pelota basque, taekwondo and rink hockey and both baseball and badminton were added to the Olympic program. This 2 hour Official Film tells the story of the Games. On the track Britain’s Linford Christie beat a high-quality field to become, by 4 years, the oldest man to win the Olympic 100m title. In the women’s track events American Gail Devers won the closest 100m final race in Olympic history, beating Jamiaca’s Juliet Cuthbert by one-hundredth of a second. Hassiba Boulmerka of Algeria was transformed overnight, not only into a national hero, when she won the 1500m track event.

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The Official Films Of The Olympic Games:
London- 1948

The 1948 Olympic Games were held in London, and opened by King George VI. The Games were organized by the British Olympic Association, under the Presidency of Lord Burghley. After six years of war Britain still had rationing of food and clothing, and so the Games were very austere. Housing was very short and so competitors were accommodated in Royal Air Force and Army camps for the men and colleges for the women. Wembley stadium, the home of English football, was the main stadium, with a capacity of 83,000. This newly restored 90-minute Official Film features Opening and Closing footage and coverage of several different Olympic events. The star of the Games was Holland’s Fanny Blankers-Koen a 30 year old mother of 2 children, who won four gold medals in track & field. Another competitor who caught people’s eye was Emil Zátopek of Czechoslovakia, not so much because of his easy win in the 10,000m, but by his remarkable last 300m sprint to narrowly lose the 5000m. Many competitors broke records during these Games, one of them being Bob Mathias, by becoming the youngest winner of a men’s decathlon event in the history of the Olympics when he won at the age of 17 years old. Delfo Cabrera from Argentina, competing in his first ever marathon, won the Olympic gold medal.

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The Official Films Of The Olympic Games:
Los Angeles- 1984

Los Angeles became the venue for the XXIIIrd Olympic Games. Attending the Games were 140 countries comprising of 6,797 competitors of which 1,567 were women. But the Soviet Union announced a last-minute boycott on the same day the Olympic Torch arrived in America. One of the largest TV audiences in history, some 2500 million, watched the Games. There were 221 events in total, of which 12 were new events for women. Baseball and tennis were introduced as demonstration sports, but would later become part of the Olympic schedule. President Ronald Reagan officially opened the Games. This 4 hour Official Film not only looks back at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies but follows many great moments throughout the whole Games. Carl Lewis of the United States equaled Jesse Owens’s feat of 1936 by winning 4 Golds and a silver in the same events. Huge drama occurred during the final of the women’s 3000m when race favorite American Mary Decker tripped behind Zola Budd of Britain and crashed out of the race. Edwin Moses (USA) became the greatest hurdler in Olympic history, going in to 400m hurdles final unbeaten over 102 races he easily won his second Olympic Gold. Daley Thompson of Britain broke the world record in retaining his Olympic title in the decathlon. Despite his career nearly ending from a rare, sometimes fatal, infection, Sebastian Coe from Britain, became the first male repeat winner of the 1500m track event.

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The Official Films Of The Olympic Games:
Melbourne- 1956

On 22nd November, 1956, the 16th Olympic Games opened in Melbourne, Australia. It was the first time in their history that they had been held outside Europe or the USA. Although they opened under a cloud of international ill-will - the Soviet Union had invaded Hungary, France and Britain had intervened in the Suez canal crisis and China withdrew at the inclusion of Taiwan - the Games were to be remembered for their sporting excellence and the spirit in which the competitions were held; the Melbourne Games became forever known as the "friendly Games". When the Melbourne Games began, 3,184 athletes attended from 67 countries. There were numerous memorable sporting successes: Soviet distance runner Vladimir Kuts, who broke the 5,000 and 10,000 meter records. At the closing ceremony, all the athletes marched as one, rather than under national flags. The idea came from a 17-year-old Australian, John Ian Wing, who wrote to the organizing committee to suggest it. It became an Olympic tradition and was a fitting end to a memorable Olympic Games of friendship and sporting endeavor.

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The Official Films Of The Olympic Games:
Mexico City- 1968

The XIXth Olympic Games were held in Mexico City. A record number of 112 countries and 5530 athletes took part. Because of the high altitude, 2240m above sea level, there was concern about the effects that this would have on competitors. There were even predictions by medical authorities, of likely deaths. Fortunately this extreme view turned out to be overly pessimistic. For the first time in Olympic history a woman lit the flame in the Olympic stadium when the Mexican hurdler Enriqueta Basilio had the honor. This 2 hour Official Film not only looks back at the Opening and Closing ceremonies but also highlights the key events of the Games.One the highlights was that of America’s Bob Beamon, when he shattered the world record in the men’s long jump, a record that lasted for over twenty years. Fellow American Dick Fosbury won the men’s high jump with his now popularized "flop" style. In the woman"s 100m sprint event Wyomia Tyus of the USA became the first person to successfully defend the title. In the men’s 100m all competitors were black, which up to that time was unique. Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black-gloved fists at the 200m medal ceremony in the black power salute, which later they were banned for.

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The Official Films Of The Olympic Games:
Montreal- 1976

The XXIst Olympic Games in Montreal were attended by 92 countries despite being boycotted by 20 Third world countries. Six months before the Games were opened the organizers predicted that the main facilities would not be ready in time, but fortunately they were and opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The hosts, Canada, were embarrassed by becoming the first host nation of a Summer Olympic Games not to win a single gold medal. This newly restored 110 minutes Official Film covers a host of events including both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. On the track Cuba’s Alberto Juantorena won a unique double in both the men’s 400m and 800m. Lasse Viren of Finland completed his amazing double ‘double’ by winning the 5000m and the 10,000m for the second successive Games. Poland’s Irena Szewinska won the 400m title in her fourth Games, to equal the record total of 7 medals in athletics.

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The Official Films Of The Olympic Games:
Moscow- 1980

The 1980 Moscow Olympics were heavily disrupted when over 40 countries boycotted them, including The United States, Japan and Germany. The XXIInd Olympic Games also saw the introduction of new Olympic competitions, including women’s hockey, 2 extra judo classes and an extra weightlifting class. Moscow had excellent facilities, which included the 103,000 capacity Lenin Stadium. This newly restored 2 hour Official Film includes various sporting events and both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The distance running events were dominated by the East Africans, led by Ethiopian Miruts Yifter with a 5000m and 10,000m double win. It was a British competitor Alan Wells who won the 100m sprint event with closest win in 28 years. Two other Britons who captivated both the media and the crowds were Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe taking the 800m and 1500m respectively. Soviet competitor Lyudmila Kondratyeva won the women’s 100m sprint by the smallest margin imaginable despite pulling a hamstring muscle at the finish.

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The Official Films Of The Olympic Games:
Rome- 1960

This newly restored 2-hour Official film, "Grande Olympiad", covers numerous events and Opening and Closing Ceremonies from the XVIIth Olympic Games, in Rome, Italy. Various old Roman sites were used as well as a newly built 100,000 capacity stadium. The president of Italy, Giovanni Gronchi, opened the Games and Adolfo Consolini, who was the 1948-discus champion, took the oath. These Games were the first to have worldwide television coverage. For the first time in Olympic History the marathon started and finished outside of the main Olympic stadium. Abebe Bikila, won the marathon barefoot and signaled the entry of Ethiopia and Black Africa onto the world distance running scene. American sprinter, Wilma Rudolph dominated the women’s track events, she was one of 12 children and had suffered from polio as a child. She captivated the crowds by winning 3 gold medals.

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The Official Films Of The Olympic Games:
Seoul- 1988

The XXIVth Olympic Games were held in Seoul, one of the most populated cities in the world with an estimated 9,000,000 inhabitants. The Games were attended by 159 countries, consisting of 8465 competitors. A brand new Olympic flag was presented to the IOC by the Seoul Organizing Committee to replace the original, flown since 1920. Tennis was re-introduced as an Olympic sport, and taekwondo and women’s judo were introduced as demonstration sports. The African men won everything on the track over 400m, but the most outstanding athlete at the Games was Florence Griffith Joyner of the United States. She entered the Games as the 200m specialist, but she destroyed the field to win the 100m title as well. Keeping success in the family her sister-in-law Jackie Joyner-Kersee won both the heptathlon and the long jump. Canada’s Ben Johnson won the 100m final in a stunning world record time, defeating Carl Lewis by over a second, only to be stripped of his title after testing positive for drugs.

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The Official Films Of The Olympic Games:
Tokyo- 1964

This newly restored 1 hour Official Film in widescreen format features various stunning scenes as well as numerous Olympic events. For the first time ever, Asia had the honor of holding the Olympic Games. 93 countries attended, of which 14 made their first appearance. There was also the introduction of 2 new sports, Volleyball and Judo. Peter Snell of New Zealand won a unique double by winning both the men’s 800m and 1500m races. In the marathon Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila became the first man to retain the title, only six weeks after having his appendix removed.

Oh Sport, You Are Brave!

O Sport, Ty - Mir!
1981. Written and Directed by Yuri Ozerov, this is a 120 minute documentary on the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, the Olympics that were boycotted by the U.S. and other Western countries because of the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. The regular competition is covered, along with some introductory animation that details the history of the Olympic games.

Olympia - Olympia

The history of the Olympics from 1896 on is the focus of this documentary made in Germany to tie in with the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. Like many archival films, it contains footage from most of the great performances of the past. Released in 1972, the director was Jochen Bauer and the writer was Jost Von Morr.

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Olympia: Part One- Festival of the People

AKA: Olympia: The film of the XI Olympic Games, Berlin 1936
In 1936, the Olympic Games were staged in Berlin. For Hitler, it was an irresistible opportunity to stage an unprecedented display of Nazi pageantry for all the world to see. Germany's leading film director, Leni Riefenstahl, was commissioned by the Nazis to make a permanent film record of the events. What she produced was nothing less than one of the most disturbing and powerful documentary films of all time. In one way a straightforward account of the games, Riefenstahl's brilliant film is instead of a pagan celebration of the human body and human achievement utilizing devastatingly clever camerawork and editing. Her enthusiasm for the sheer beauty and human drama of the event brought her into conflict with her Nazi masters, who were furious that she saw fit to include film of a black athlete, Jesse Owens, beating white competitors in track events. A great international success at the time, Olympia was recognized as standing head and shoulders above conventional newsreel reporting and remains one of the most important and influential documentaries ever made. This listing is for the English version of the German motion picture Olympische Spiele, first released in 1936. Read a review by Steve Rhodes that he wrote in 1995. Many companies have released this film footage, therefore you will find numerous images of the cover art for this film. To purchase a new copy of this footage go to Amazon.com.

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Olympia: Part Two- Festival of Beauty

AKA: Olympia: The film of the XI Olympic Games, Berlin 1936
Part two of Leni Riefenstahl's monumental documentary of the 1936 Olympic Games. Made at the specific request of Adolph Hitler, this documentary sets the style for sports documentary and was directed by a master of this film form, Leni Riefenstahl. Frank Capra was to emulate her style in his wartime documentaries and many other directors were heavily influenced by her work. The decathlete from the United States, Glenn Morris, as well as German steeplechaser Conrad von Wangenheim appear in this film that was edited down from 200 hours of black and white footage captured by the 45 cameras used to cover the events. Read a review of this film from Epinions.com or visit Amazon.com if you want to buy this film (or to get both parts one and two as a set).




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