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Forrest Gump: The Ultimate Sports Movie

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2014

Forrest Gump: The Ultimate Sports Movie

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    Richard Vogel/Associated Press

    "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get."

    Assuming that you're old enough to write your name, you've probably heard this quote a number of times, knowing that it comes from the movie Forrest Gump.

    And since the award-winning flick recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, I'm giving you reasons why it can honestly be considered the ultimate sports movie.

Alabama Football

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    We all know that the Alabama Crimson Tide are at the top of the college football world these days—winning three of the past five national titles and scoring the No. 1 recruiting class for three straight years.

    But before the Tide had their resurgence under head coach Nick Saban, a few casual fans may have actually associated the school with one guy, Forrest Gump.

    The movie profiles legendary coach Bear Bryant bringing Gump to Tuscaloosa, with Forrest enjoying instant success as a kick returner.

Pingpong

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    Just as Forrest Gump showed when on the gridiron with the Alabama Crimson Tide, he proved to be quite the athlete when holding a pingpong paddle, too.

    Picking up the sport while recovering from his "million dollar wound" after getting shot in the booty during the Vietnam War, Gump was a quick study, performing various tricks and, eventually, competing in China and becoming a world champion in the sport.

Forrest Learns to Run

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    As I mentioned earlier in the slide about Forrest playing for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, the dude could run—and fast.

    But it wasn't until he was being pegged with rocks from some bullies that he discovered how lightning-quick he could move.

    Breaking out of the braces on his legs, Forrest proved to have the speed of Usain Bolt, who, as we know, is generally regarded as the fastest man in the world.

Forrest Inspired Parkour

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    For those who have seen Forrest Gump before, you know that the entire basis of the movie takes place on a park bench, with Gump describing a sensational amount of historical events that he was a part of.

    Naturally, a few other sports scenes have been inspired to do the same.

    One cool example is this parkour athlete, who re-enacts Gump running to his longtime love Jenny's house—with the video displaying a few intense parkour skills as opposed to just some jogging.

Forrest Runs and Runs and Runs...

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    As I've mentioned a few times, Forrest Gump really enjoyed running—especially after he realized how good he was at it.

    And after he realized his love Jenny had left without telling him early in the morning, Forrest did what any guy would seemingly do with a broken heartlace up his kicks and go for a run.

    Except Gump's distance wasn't just a few miles to clear his head, rather turning it into a back-and-forth journey between the coasts several different times.

    As he said in the movie, "I just felt like running."

British Forrest Gump

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    Speaking of Forrest running thousands of miles in the movie, one real-life guy took Gump's fictional run across the country as inspiration to do his own journey.

    Just as I showed you earlier with the parkour athlete who re-enacted Gump's walk to Jenny's house, some dude named Jamie McDonald—aka the British Forrest Gump—celebrated a more than 5,000-mile trek across Canada by touching his hand in the Pacific Ocean.

    Forrest's adventures may have been crazy to believe, but this guy showed that a few of the stories could actually happen.

Forrest Saves LeBron

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    How impactful was the movie Forrest Gump?

    Someone actually compiled this imaginary scene from the movie following LeBron James cramping and being carried off by teammates during this year's NBA Finals, proving that the flick has quite the staying power.

    The only problem, of course, is that Gump was able to save Lt. Dan in the movie, while James and his then Miami Heat teammates suffered a beatdown at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.

    Still, #LeBroning just seemed to take in various forms.

Nike

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    Sure, everyone knows the athletic apparel company Nike now, but back when the brand was first born in 1971, few people appreciated it as much as folks do now.

    One of those people wasn't Jenny, though, who gave Forrest his first pair of stylish kicks in the form of the Nike Cortez, which, although they appear to be nothing more than basic, have proved to have staying power. Since they were shown off in the '94 movie, as Nike has issued a few redesigns in the 40-plus years they have been available.

All-American Team

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    Thanks to his return skills on the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, Forrest had the chance to do some pretty cool things.

    One of those experiences came when he met former President John F. Kennedy at The White House following his recognition as an All-American—which, of course, he left with a memorable impression.

    Gump may have never competed for the Heisman Trophy, but being selected as one of the top collegiate players in the nation is still a cool honor—and shows Gump's love for sports.

Channeling Your Inner Forrest

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    Slovakian cyclist Peter Sagan might not be a household name among many casual sports fans, but he proved to have been inspired by the fictional Forrest Gump during the 2012 Tour de France.

    Winning three group stages during the entire competition, Sagan channeled his inner Gump after his first win on Stage 3, taking his hands off the bars and giving his best Gump impersonation as he crossed the finish line by swinging his arms back and forth.

    And seeing that Sagan popped a wheelie across the finish line in this year's event, he's shown to have the best celebrations a cyclist could ever have.

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