Your Daily Dose: 3 sports documentaries to watch

PHOTO: NETFLIX
PHOTO: NETFLIX

Just because the sports world has stopped doesn't mean your sports consumption has to. In this Daily Dose series, Nicole Chia recommends three Netflix sports documentaries to watch.

1 DRIVE TO SURVIVE

Each of the two seasons is a 10-part series following the lives of Formula One teams and drivers throughout the 2018 and 2019 campaigns. The episodes give viewers a closer look at what goes on behind the scenes and the dynamics and rivalry between drivers.

Highlights include drama on and off the track, like Red Bull replacing under-performing Frenchman Pierre Gasly with Thai driver Alexander Albon midway through the year, and how Williams' 2019 season ended up being a "horrific" one, according to deputy team principal Claire Williams.

This is a series that will be enjoyed by F1 enthusiasts and casual sports fans, especially with this year's first seven races either cancelled or postponed and the racing to start in June at the earliest.

2 ICARUS

In this 2017 film, director Bryan Fogel, an amateur cyclist, had simply set out to prove the limitations of anti-doping test systems for athletes. Instead, he stumbles upon Russia's state-sponsored Olympics programme when he connects with Russian scientist Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of Russia's national anti-doping laboratory.

The first part of the two-hour film, which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, centres on Fogel's preparation for the Haute Route. He describes this race as similar to "the hardest seven days of the Tour de France put back to back to back".

He is then put in touch with Rodchenkov, after which a series of events unfolds, including a call from the latter expressing fear for his life and his intention to flee to the United States.

3 LADIES FIRST

"Girls belong at home, not on the sports field" is the opening line of Ladies First, a 2017 documentary that follows archer Deepika Kumari's journey from poverty to making her mark as an Indian athlete.

Kumari, now 25, reached the top of the women's rankings when she was 18 in 2012, becoming only the second Indian to do so.

In the nearly 40-minute film, which details her struggles with pressure and gender inequality, Kumari urges viewers to do better: "People often throw around the term 'ladies first'. So, when girls want to advance in life, be it in education or sports, why not say 'ladies first' when it really counts?"

TOMORROW: Singapore features on the Olympic Channel.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2020, with the headline 'Your Daily Dose... of sports documentaries'. Print Edition | Subscribe