Summer Break is here! Endless days of sunshine and fun ahead! Time to spend with your friends, vacation with your family, and maybe even go to summer camp! But consider this – not every day is sunny. There will inevitably be long rainy days when you look out the window at cloud-laden skies wondering what to do. And there will be those evenings when the stars come out, but it’s not quite time to go to bed. These times are when a great movie is the perfect answer to those fill empty hours. Here are some movies that gymnasts like you have loved through the past years. Invite your friends over or snuggle up with your family and pop some popcorn. You’re in for a real treat!
Haley Graham (played by Missy Peregrym) is a rebellious 17-year-old who has a run-in with the law and is forced by a judge to return to the world of competitive gymnastics. Haley was once considered one of the most talented gymnasts in the US. One year earlier, she made it to the World Championships, but she walked out of competition in the middle of the finals, costing the American team the Gold Medal.
Now labeled a ‘juvenile delinquent,’ she finds herself assigned to an elite gymnastics program run by Burt Vickerman (played by Jeff Bridges). She is resentful, is not performing well, and is having trouble connecting with her team mates. Unwilling to give up on her, Burt Vickerman works with her on her self-sabotaging behaviors, finds ways to reduce the conflict with the other team members, and coaches her the best he can. Although Stick It is considered a dramatic comedy, the message of the story-line is powerful and unforgettable.
A 2nd Chance
A 2nd Chance chronicles how Maddy (Emily Morris), a talented middle-school gymnast, tries to overcome setbacks and win placement on the National Australian Gymnastics Squad along with her two teammates. Coached by Kate (Nina Pearce) and fellow coach Shane (Adam Tuominen), the three gymnasts struggle to compete against a rival team whose members (especially Chelsea) relentlessly bully the three at school. While Maddy is shy and unsure of herself, Chelsea exudes a confidence that is strengthened by the fact the she comes from a very wealthy family. Jam-packed with jealousy, rivalry, intrigue, and emerging resilience, A 2nd Chance is one you don’t want to miss seeing.
Gymnast is a documentary that offers a glimpse into the lives of the British gymnastic team that outdid all others in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It is an inspirational tribute to the tenacity and sheer hard work that went into making this team achieve an unbelievable dream! However, the film doesn’t just focus on the sport of Gymnastics; it also touches the ‘human’ aspect of the team and their lives. It is an incredibly realistic film that spreads the message of hope.
McKenna: An American Girl Shoots for the Stars
Directed by Vince Marcello and featuring Jade Pettyjohn, this movie is one of the American Girls films that depict American Girl characters coming to life. McKenna Brooks (played by Jade Pettyjohn) is a 4th grade gymnast who has dreams of qualifying for the Olympics. Unfortunately, she struggles with achieving the advanced skills required, and her grades at school are slipping. Her parents have told her that she must improve her grades to stay in the gymnastics program. McKenna is faced with what seems overwhelming odds of her ever achieving her dream.
The Gabby Douglas Story
The Gabby Douglas Story gives viewers a sense of what it was like for Gabby to grow up to earn an All-Around Champ Gold Medal in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. It explores the struggles and sacrifices that she and her family made to help her reach that point, but it also puts in perspective the historic fact that she was the first woman of color of any nationality and the first African-American gymnast in Olympic history to become the Individual All-Around Champion. She was also the first American gymnast to win Gold in both the gymnastic individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympic games. It is an inspirational story that will lift the hearts of every young gymnast who has Olympic dreams.