Written by: Kelly Meade (4/28/17)
Forgiveness is extremely powerful and yet sometimes one of the most difficult things to do. Whether you need to forgive someone for a wrong done to you, seek someone’s forgiveness, or if you need to forgive yourself, it can seem impossible and you begin to wonder if you’ll ever be able to.
This struggle and the ultimate healing found in the decision to forgive is the central theme of Champion as its characters are faced with challenges that test their ability to arrive at that decision to the extreme.
Sean Weathers is a dirt track racer focused on achieving success who isn’t much on heeding advice of his peers or racing crew. He juggles life as a driver and a single father off the track to his daughter, Gracie. When Sean finds himself in a slump having lost more races than he’s won, sponsorships hang in the balance which leads to his career being threatened.
Elsewhere we see business man Jack Reed, come to the track to watch his son, Ray Reed, compete. Jack is very much out of his comfort zone and the relationship with his son is distant at best. In an attempt to bond with his father again, Ray sets up a getaway at the family lake cabin.
Sean’s crew, Sam & Rex, work hard to keep the car running smoothly. When a rivalry between Sean & fellow driver Ray, reaches dangerous levels, Sam tries her best to talk some sense into Sean before a crucial race. A terrible accident occurs involving Sean & Ray that tragically claims Ray’s life and drastically changes the direction in the lives of everyone involved.
Jack arrives at the lake cabin expecting to meet his son, but instead he is filled with remorse & regret as he learns of his sons passing. We learn that Ray was a Christian whose faith was important to him, something that Jack is presented with in an effort to help ease his pain.
The blame weighs heavy on Sean’s shoulders as he struggles to earn respect in the racing community again which leads him to make several bad choices. As time goes on, the relationship between Sean & Gracie becomes strained. When Sean’s poor decisions affect Gracie, Child Protection Services step in placing the young girl in foster care. The family who take Gracie in begin to share their faith with her which seems to help Gracie keep a positive attitude.
When Jack decides to fix up the cabin to get it ready to sell, Ray’s close friend and race chaplain, Logan, suggests Jack hire Sean to help him make the repairs to the cabin and possibly take steps towards forgiving Sean for his role in the accident.
After much deliberation, Jack offers Sean the job and he accepts, though is still uncomfortable with the situation. The men butt heads at times in the process of working together, though they also learn several things about each other that help then come to a better understanding of how the other feels dealing with the circumstances. Tensions remain high between the two as they eventually reach their breaking points and the men go their separate ways.
When an unbelievable example of forgiveness is shared with Jack, his life is altered in a way he never expected. His change of heart allows him to reach out once more to Sean and forgive him.
The story of Champion is ultimately a powerful message that resonates with viewers which may lead them to question where forgiveness fits into their lives and what they can do to take steps towards achieving reconciliation if something is keeping them from finding peace with a situation or someone that has caused pain in the past.
Andrew Cheney as Sean Weathers
Gary Graham as Jack Reed
Faith Renee Kennedy as Gracie Weathers
Robert Amaya as Rex
Lindsay Sparks as Sam
Cameron Arnett as Logan Evans
Isaiah Stratton as Ray Reed