Ambitious young swimmer Danny Kelly wakes before dawn to workout before his first day at the exclusive Blackstone College where he has won a scholarship. With its grand buildings and fancy school uniforms, Blackstone is highly intimidating and worlds away from Danny's previous school. The school swim squad - Wilco, Scooter, Tsitsas and the handsome leader of the gang, Taylor are not keen on integrating Kelly into their team - either inside the classroom, nor the pool. However, after Danny comes a close second to Taylor in training, swimming coach, Frank Torma reminds everyone what is at stake and only four of the five can make the squad for the schoolboy championships. Danny's entire world is changing rapidly. He is thrown into a very privileged setting, yet he grew up in a close knit, hardworking, community of supportive friends and loving family. After finally beating Taylor in the state final, the squad admit to needing Danny to win their relay, however, given the relentless taunts, Danny isn't keen to help them reach their goals. They've not only insulted him, but also his family. Can Danny rise above it all and prove he's stronger, faster and better than all of them in the place it really matters - the swimming pool?
After Danny's success in Albury, he trains hard with the swim squad. And he's finally earned their respect. However, coach Torma unsettles Danny by insisting he change his stroke to butterfly. He believes Danny will never win gold with freestyle. Danny's new best friend, Martin Taylor invites him for a weekend away at the family beach house. The opulent home impresses Danny as does Martin's sophisticated older sister, Emma and his mother Mrs Taylor. Taylor confesses his fears about qualifying for the Nationals to Danny and the two make a pact they'll do it together. Returning home, Danny is keen to share details of his weekend in the spectacular home, however Danny's father Neal is concerned he is putting the Taylor family on a pedestal. Danny retorts with a hurtful response in front of his entire family. At the qualifying meet, Danny smashes his race to qualify for the Nationals. Wilco also wins, but devastingly, Taylor doesn't qualify. In Brisbane, Danny and Wilco get their first taste of the elite world of competitive swimming and they are also introduced to Ben Whitter from the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS). Will Danny win at the Nationals with his newly mastered butterfly stroke?
Fresh from his world record-breaking swim, Danny's dreams come true when he is accepted into the Australian squad for the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. He celebrates with Taylor but their developing relationship takes a turn when Taylor introduces Danny to someone new. Danny enjoys his celebrity status at school, but struggles to get back his world record pace in the pool. Convinced he's not getting the support he needs and terrified of failure, Danny takes up Ben Whitter's offer and joins the VIS. Along with his new life at the Vic Institute, Danny is soon seduced into the glossy world of elite sport. He feels like he's finally getting the attention he deserves. The Taylors are supportive of Danny's new trajectory at the VIS whilst adding salt to Martin's wounds. Taylor confesses how much he misses swimming and the peace he found in the water. But on the eve of the Commonwealth Games swim, Danny is far from peaceful. Martin is not coming to see him swim and the angry noise in Danny's head builds as the race approaches.
It's the opening night of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the nation is buzzing with excitement. It's been two years since Danny's public loss and humiliation at the Commonwealth Games and he is still consumed with overwhelming disappointment and anger. He finishes his day at his dead-end job and returns home to the Kelly house where the family feels more fractured than ever. Lifelong friend Demet persuades him to join their friends at the pub but there's no escaping the Olympic fever taking over Melbourne. The final straw comes when he sees a familiar face on the TV parading proudly in the opening ceremony - Wilco. He's made the Olympic team. Danny departs wanting to drown his sorrows. He heads uninvited to the Taylor residence where he's heard there's a party. It soon becomes apparent this is not an Olympic celebration, but Taylor's engagement party. The night takes a turn for the worse and Danny leaves the Taylor home in the back of a police car. When Danny hits rock bottom, Stephanie enlists Torma's help. He offers a helping hand but Danny refuses. Torma finally catches up with Danny and forces him to face one of his greatest fears. He also shares a moment which totally puts life into perspective for the broken young man. Can Danny find redemption for the shame and humiliation of two years ago? And can Torma help him back into the water to swim again?
Jeremy Lindsay Taylor
© 2016 Matchbox Pictures, Screen Australia and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2024
All Rights Reserved.
Internet Service Terms
Apple TV & Privacy