On A Gymnastics Buzz? Here Are The 7 Shows And Movies You Need To See

We've got backflip fever

Gabby Douglas Story Gymnast

If we have one thing to thank the Olympics for, it's reigniting our passion for those incredible feats of physical wonder performed by superhumans we like to call "gymnasts". Like, seriously, how is this shit even possible?!

We can barely lean down to tie our shoelaces after a particularly gruelling week, yet these folks are doing backflips and front flips and round-offs (see, we know the lingo) to beat the band! 

We're fairly sure we're too old to learn how to do any of this fancy stuff, so instead we're gonna cosy up on the couch and get stuck into a few of these. Netflix and skill, we like to call it.

1. Stick It

Jeff Bridges isn't the name that immediately springs to mind when you think of a teen gymnastics movie, but you just never know where he'll pop up – in this instance, as a gymnastics coach tasked with rehabilitating a former gymnast who's arrest and, er, sentenced to go back to gymnastics.

Don't ask too many questions and you'll enjoy what is essentially the gymnastics equivalent of Bring It On.

2. Make It Or Break It

This was an ABC Family teen drama that is about as risqué and exciting as it sounds – but there's loads of gymnastics, and if you give it a chance you kind of get into the whole schmaltzy Go Team USA stuff. Kind of.

3. The Gabby Douglas Story

You might remember her from London, where US gymnast Gabby Douglas broke a shitload of records – she was the first African-American woman in Olympic history to become the women's all-round champion, and the first American gymnast to win gold in both individual and team events.

This made-for-TV movie – the full version of which is on YouTube – is the true story of how Gabby made it to the Olympics; she even does all the gymnastics stunts herself (even though she's played by an actress, just to be clear).

4. Perfect Body

This is more a movie about eating disorders than a movie about gymnastics, but there are enough balance beam shots for it to make the cut. Just don't expect a triumphant Olympic finish – and keep an eye out for former Power Ranger Amy Jo Johnson.

6. Gymnast

Now for something a little more serious... Gymnast is a BBC documentary about the British team sent to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Be warned: it may make you angry at your parents, who just didn't have big enough dreams for you.

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7. Bring It On

Okay, so this is a bit of a tenuous addition, because we all know Bring It On isn't, strictly speaking, about gymnasts – but there are enough backflips for it to qualify. Plus: it's hilarious.

Written By

Rosemary MacCabe

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