Two swimmers, close friends and archrivals, chase after the same Olympic gold medal. Archie Hayes is the best swimmer in the world. Talent and luck have brought him Olympic medals, fame, money and women. Doyle Wilson has reached the end of his career with dreams unfulfilled, but he has a final chance in the 400 freestyle, in which Archie owns the world record. Doyle bets that hard work will enable him to beat Archie just once. He burns all his bridges to focus on his lone goal.
But Doyle can’t be single-minded. Archie is not just his nemesis – they’re best friends. Danger lurks around every corner for Archie, a celebrity athlete with a reckless streak. On a training trip to Hawaii, when Archie is mauled by a wave while bodysurfing, Doyle sees his duty – a purpose in life that transcends self-interest and even friendship. Archie’s incomparable talent must be preserved and nurtured, and only Doyle can do it. Though Archie’s demise would liquidate the main obstacle in Doyle’s path to greatness, Doyle rescues him. Repeatedly.
Doyle’s odyssey to the Olympics teaches him about true friendship and love, the meaning of sacrifice and overcoming obstacles.