The sportsman spirit

It seems like Bollywood is having a tryst with biographical films (also known as biopics) at the moment.

Published: Sat 13 Jul 2013, 10:21 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:45 AM

For instance, the recently released Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, is getting rave reviews from the public and the critics. The story narrates the perseverance and hard work of the celebrated Indian track runner Milkha Singh. Interestingly, the next Indian biopic that is expected to attract huge crowds to the cinema is also based on the life of an athlete. The movie, which is based on the life of world boxing champion Mary Kom and stars Priyanka Choprha in the lead role, is creating quite a buzz in the media.

There are also Hollywood biopics on sportsmen that have received much critical acclaim. For instance, Ali, which starred Will Smith as the legendary boxer Mohammad Ali, won many prestigious awards and was even nominated for the Academy Awards in many categories. Cindrella Man, starring Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger, was based on the inspiring story of a boxer, Jim Braddock, during the Great Depression.

Movies on sporting legends definitely draw crowds to the cinemas. But what is it about great athletes that inspires human beings? Perhaps, we feel that there is something noble and sacred about physical discipline and determination. The fight, persistence and toil of world-class athletes leaves us awe-inspired because it’s these qualities that define the human spirit and its resilience.

And this is why we are left utterly disappointed when a renowned athlete is hit by a scandal. For example, cyclist Lance Armstrong’s confession of drug usage disappointed people because it crushed his image as a person who heroically surpassed a multitude of challenges.

It’s true that athletes are mere mortals; they, too, have the same flaws and shortcomings that most of us do. Yet their physical feats will continue to inspire us and we will continue to watch their narratives of strength and determination on the silver screen with great interest.

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