This is the story of Harlen Brown who was a talented runner who as a teenager was worried he was gay. Because of family and societal pressures he tries to be straight . All the way to getting married and having children. Eventually as a track coach he denies a young student when he attempts to hook up with him.
The student causes a ruckus and Harlen loses his job. He goes through a rough few years, including losing his wife and sons, before being offered a job with a progressive new school. When 3 young runners come to him after being suspended from their school in Oregon for being gay he is worried that his previous troubles are coming back to haunt him.
One of the young runners in particular attracts him and he fights the attraction. He wants to get all three boys to the Montreal Olympics but there is a lot of bigotry in the way. Will any of Harlen's boys make it to the olympics? Will there ever be anyone for Harlen to love?
This is a terrific love story of courage and conviction against terrible outside pressures and prejudices.