The intertwined lives and loves of three highly-ranked athletes striving for the national team; Chris bounces between the beds of male coach Terry and her female friend, competitor, and role model Tory.
Filmed over four years, a portrait of up-and-coming British sprinters in training and competition on the eve of the 2012 Olympics, and a deeply personal account of their lives as they strive towards their dreams.
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Paris P. Pickard,
Anthony Michael Jones
1976. Chris Cahill and Torry Skinner are US national caliber track and field athletes, Chris in the 100 meter hurdles, and Torry in the pentathlon. Chris has the natural ability to be great but she doesn't possess the confidence or drive, while Torry, who has less natural ability, psychologically knows what it takes to be great, leading to Torry making the Olympic team finishing second in her event, while Chris has a disastrous Olympic trial. Torry can see the potential in Chris, and tries to convince her coach at Cal Poly, Terry Tingloff, to coach Chris, Terry who will only allow Chris to train with the team without his guidance in he only having seen her disastrous performance at the trials. Although not ideal in that no scholarship money is involved, Chris accepts the offer against the wishes of her father, who currently coaches her. In their time together, Chris and Torry embark on a relationship, each seeing in the other what each doesn't possess, their attraction thus sexual as ...Written by
Personal Best is a gripping film about competition and pushing oneself to the absolute limit - what you leave behind in the process and what you build. Mariel Hemingway's character Chris is blessed with natural talent but initially lacks the drive and motivation that has taken her soon-to-be lover Tori to a higher level in women's track and field. When Chris begins training with Tori and Tori's coach takes her under his wing, Chris moves to the next level.
As Chris' and Tori's romantic relationship begins and then evolves, the competition between them intensifies. Chris' coach Scott Glen remarks to Chris, "I don't know which scares you more, beating Tori Skinner or losing to her." Her quandary culminates at the Olympic Trials where Chris and Tori compete for 2 of the 3 spots on the US Women's Pentathalon Team. And the result is unpredictable yet makes perfect sense - and it was even more meaningful given that the competition was for spots non an Olympic team that wasn't going anywhere, as the Moscow Olypics would take place without the US athletes.
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