The Ringer | 2005
Steve Barker is a nice guy stuck in a mundane desk job when a twist of fate turns his life--and his definition of success--upside down. When Steve works up the courage to ask his boss for a promotion, his wish is surprisingly granted, with one condition: Steve must first fire Stave, the long-time janitor at the company. To soften the blow, Steve offers to employ the distraught janitor himself, a decision that quickly backfires when a lawn care accident lands Stavi in the hospital missing several fingers not to mention medical insurance. Desperate for the cash to save Stavi's digits, Steve enlists the help of his smarmy uncle Gary, who's worried about his own skyrocketing gambling debts. In typical fashion, Gary comes up with an unthinkable, contemptible, lower-than-low scheme just crazy enough to seem doable: former track star Steve will compete in the upcoming Special Olympics as a "ringer," handily defeating the greatest champion of all time, six-time Gold Medal pentathlete Jimmy, whom Gary will bet against. Racked with remorse over Stavi, Steve begrudgingly goes along with the scandalous plan and transforms himself into "Jeffy," his new alter-ego. But succeeding at being intellectually challenged turns out to be a far greater challenge than Steve ever imagined. From convincing Special Olympics volunteer Lynn Sheridan, with whom Steve is smitten; to trying to win the friendship of his feisty fellow competitors, Steve is stumped, not to mention not nearly good enough to win any of his events. To make matters worse, Steve's co-competitors soon get wise to his scam. But instead of turning against him they decide to join him and train Steve as a competitor themselves, hoping he can topple the arrogant Jimmy from the podium. With a training regimen unlike anything ever seen in sports before, Steve prepares to go for the Gold for his new friends--and, in the process, stumbles at long last upon his personal best.