5 Award Winning Sports Documentaries On Netflix!

Netflix has been at the forefront of producing and streaming a variety of award-winning sports documentaries that have garnered critical acclaim. Here are five must-watch sports documentaries on Netflix that have not only won awards but have also left a lasting impact on audiences.

In recent years, sports documentaries have taken the streaming world by storm, captivating audiences with their thrilling narratives, behind-the-scenes insights, and compelling storytelling. Let’s start out with the most obvious pick on this list.

The Last Dance

This sports documentary chronicles the career of basketball legend Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ quest for a sixth NBA championship in the 1997-98 season. Through exclusive footage and interviews, the documentary provides an in-depth look at Jordan’s rise to superstardom and the dynamic relationships within the team. Jason Hehir, the director, is known for his exceptional storytelling and ability to bring out the human side of sports legends. “The Last Dance” is not just a sports documentary; it’s a cultural phenomenon that transcends basketball. It offers a mesmerizing glimpse into the mind of one of the greatest athletes of all time and the intricate dynamics of a championship-winning team.This documentary garnered an IMDb rating of 9.1/10, 1 Primetime Emmy, 10 award wins and 6 nominations including 2021 NAACP Outstanding documentary, 2020 outstanding achievement in news and information, 2020 OFTA best reality and best direction of a nonfiction program. Despite focusing on the Chicago Bulls as a whole, the documentary primarily unravels Jordan’s complex private and public persona. It doesn’t shy away from addressing his aggressive nature, interactions with young players, and his avoidance of political involvement, showcasing a comprehensive look at the basketball legend’s journey that intrigued audiences all over the world.

Last Chance You

This sport documentary follows the journeys of talented but troubled college football players as they strive for redemption and a shot at a brighter future in their junior colleges. The series dives into the personal struggles, triumphs, and challenges faced by these young athletes both on and off the field making for a series that leaves a lasting impression. Greg Whiteley, a showrunner in this documentary, uses his expertise to create emotionally resonant and character-driven documentaries. This series also was able to win multiple awards including 2021 IDA Best episodic series, 2020 Emmy for outstanding sports documentary, and a 2016 IDA for best best episodic as well. Last Chance U offers a raw and unfiltered look at the harsh realities of college sports and the impact it has on the lives of the players. It’s a gripping and emotional rollercoaster that highlights the power of second chances and the resilience of the human spirit as it follows different Junior colleges.

Athlete A

The directors of this documentary, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk are acclaimed documentary filmmakers known for tackling complex and socially relevant subjects. The essence of this documentary exposes the widespread sexual abuse scandal in USA Gymnastics and the brave survivors who came forward to seek justice. The documentary sheds light on the toxic culture within the sport and the systemic failures that allowed the abuse to persist for years. Athlete A is an eye-opening documentary that addresses important issues of abuse, power dynamics, and accountability in sports organizations. It’s a compelling call to action for reform and justice for survivors. This revealing documentary won a 2021 Emmy for outstanding investigative documentary, 2020 Hoosier award, 2020 CCDA for most compelling living subject, and a 2020 CCDA for best documentary. This sports documentary is more focused on the happening within the sport but it is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!

Formula 1: Drive To Survive

This intriguing sports documentary offers an exhilarating, behind-the-scenes look at the high-stakes world of Formula 1 racing. The series follows the drivers, teams, and rivalries of the Formula 1 season, providing exclusive access and insights into the intense competition and drama of Formula 1 Racing. James Gay-Rees, a seasoned producer known for his work on other award-winning documentaries, brings his expertise and skill in crafting engaging narratives and capturing the intensity of the Formula 1 world. This is a must-watch for both die-hard fans and newcomers to the world of Formula 1. It combines high-octane action with compelling storytelling, making it a thrilling and addictive watch for sports enthusiasts. This Docu-series has a total of 8 wins and 22 nominations including a 2022 Eddie for best edited non scripted series, 2023 C.A.S award for sound mixing, 2022 Emmy for best documentary series, and 2021 Documentary of the year. This thrilling sports documentary will have your mind, heart and soul racing.


This one starts as a documentary about doping in sports but takes a shocking turn when filmmaker Bryan Fogel uncovers a major international doping scandal involving Russian athletes. The film runs deep into the intricate web of deception, corruption, and the far-reaching consequences of doping in sports. Icarus is a groundbreaking documentary that not only exposes the dark underbelly of doping in sports but also raises important ethical and moral questions about the pursuit of victory at any cost. It’s a gripping and thought-provoking documentary that challenges our perceptions of fair play and integrity in sports. The director, Bryan Fogel’s fearless investigative approach and commitment to uncovering the truth are evident in Icarus. His willingness to explore the depths of the doping scandal and the implications it has on the world of sports showcases his dedication to shedding light on important issues through his work.This sports documentary is one for the books as it holds 9 award wins, 14 nominations and 1 Oscar. Here is a list of some of the wins it was able to achieve, 2017 CCDA for best sports documentary, 2018 best tv network news documentary and cinematography, and they even created a prize called the “Hell yeah prize” to celebrate unique moments where filming leads to a monumental conclusive finding. It’s more than just a sports documentary it is in fact, documentary history.

Netflix offers a diverse range of stories, from the triumphs and tribulations of legendary athletes to the scandals and controversies that have rocked the sports world. Whether you’re a sports fan or simply a lover of compelling storytelling, these documentaries are sure to entertain, educate, and inspire. Happy watching!

About the Author

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Christopher Rivera

Christopher Rivera is a passionate filmmaker dedicated to mastering the art of storytelling. He is striving to become a world-class storyteller, writer and filmmaker.