Lillehammer ’94: 16 Days of Glory
I’m still not a big fan of the Bud Greenspan Olympic experience, but if the rest of these films largely follow the same pattern, I hope they are all as good as this one. Sure, I still absolutely miss the spectacle and grandeur of the Olympics. This film almost totally ignores things like the Opening Ceremony, the arts, the public, the setting, what is happening outside the confines of the sports itself. But where it distances itself from the two previous examples of the style, is that I found myself really caring about the people being profiled.
Don’t get me wrong, there is still way too much importance placed on winning and medals. Basically every story is either someone dominating as expected, or someone winning in a great surprise. There is also a lot of fairly manufactured adversity and drama. But, somehow this time I fell for its charm. Maybe it was just my mood, but more likely it was just the right collection of sports stories. One of the many problems with this formula, and it is very much a formula, is that it depends on interesting and dramatic things to happen.
Just having someone win isn’t enough, there needs to be something more. This time around there’s enough more, and enough stories for Greenspan to find. Hopefully that continues to be the case, because otherwise I’m in for a rough rest of this series.