Get your winter sports fix online with these four docs

Sean Fitzgerald, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:32 PM ET

It’s all Olympics, all the time for a lot of people right now.

And if you can’t get enough of the winter sports coming out of Sochi, Russia, you can go online to keep things going. There are a number of winter sports documentaries out right now that will amplify your Olympics experience.

After checking these out, you might find that you’ll enjoy the Winter Games that much more. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll be inspired to pick up a snowboard for the first time. Honestly, why haven’t I done that yet?

Pretend that you’ve been a super fan all along with these four documentaries.

STEEP

This love letter to extreme skiing is probably the most traditional documentary of this group. Filmmaker Mark Obenhaus follows the superstars of big-mountain skiing -­ people like Doug Coombs and the late Patrick Vallencant -­ and examines the history of this daring sport. The death-defying moves that skiers pull in Chamonix, France, look almost suicidal. “Extreme skiing is a way of life,” says one skier. “If there’s no risk, there’s no adventure.” You’ll want to make sure your feet at planted firmly on the ground afterwards. Airing on Netflix.

HORGASM: A LOVE STORY

You’ll come away from this fast-paced documentary with one main thought: Torstein Horgmo is a pretty cool dude. You’ll want to ride with him, and you’ll want to party with him. This 35-minute short film follows the Norwegian athlete, a laid-back guy in his mid-20s, through two years of competitive snowboarding around the world. Director Tobias Froystad throws away any concept of traditional storytelling, and adopts an edgy style that makes you feel like you’re watching a video game or music video. “All I do is just try to have as much fun as I can,” says Horgmo at one point. “It’s been working out pretty good so far.” Airing on Netflix.

ART OF FLIGHT

This is the best-looking documentary of the bunch. In this 2011 film, director Curt Morgan travels with professional snowboarder Travis Rice to remote mountains around the world, as Rice and his friends attempt new tricks in exotic locations while trying to avoid avalanches and injuries. Morgan combines stellar cinematography with a solid soundtrack, so you’ll be watching gorgeous aerial panning shots of mountains while listening to songs by Deadmau5, M83 and The Naked and Famous. And while the testosterone-fuelled antics of the snowboarders can feel lame after 80 minutes­ there’s a long montage of guys shooting guns, throwing axes and using chainsaws. It helps to get to know the riders individually, because that way we’re invested in their safety during the scary moments. Airing on Netflix.

READY TO FLY

Lindsey Van will inspire you. This 2012 documentary examines the American athlete’s fight to achieve gender equality in the Olympics, as she pushes for women’s ski jumping to be included in the Winter Games. Sure, she’s not Canadian, but you’ll still be rooting for her as you watch her grow from a gutsy tomboy into the unofficial spokesperson for women’s ski jumping. While her attempt to sue the 2010 Olympic organizers in Vancouver was unsuccessful, the IOC finally relented, and the sport was recognized three years ago. She’s competing in Sochi right now. And she’s got my vote. Airing on Netflix.

Twitter: @SeanDFitzgerald

sean.fitzgerald@sunmedia.ca

 


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