Dave Schultz and Mark Schultz are brothers, Olympic gold medal winning wrestlers (both from the Soviet-bloc boycotted 1984 Olympics), and training partners. As the older who had earlier success, Dave has always been the leader between the two, Mark largely in his shadow, even in his own successes which are seen largely as Dave's doing. In 1987, Mark is recruited by fifty year old John du Pont - of the chemical company du Ponts - to train under his tutelage at his family's estate, Foxcatcher, which du Pont would use as the name for his camp of athletes. Despite not knowing anything about du Pont, Mark is convinced largely out of John's sense of nationalism and seeming pride for the sport, greater public exposure which he feels would give Mark and the sport the glory they so rightly deserve, especially in the United States. In addition, du Pont would largely give Mark free reign to choose his training partners. Dave is offered the same deal through Mark, but turns it down as he does not want to uproot his family to move to the Foxcatcher estate in Pennsylvania. du Pont sees himself as a Renaissance man and philanthropist, his other interests including ornithology, about which he is a published author, philately, and being a freestyle wrestler in his own right. In the short term, Mark, Dave and John all have the same goal: Mark winning the 1987 World Championship and the gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Despite they having these same goals, other priorities for what they are doing, especially du Pont's, would tear the relationship between the three apart, most specifically as du Pont feels like he is loosing control in front of a worldwide audience, which is all the more important seeing as to his relationship with his mother, Jean du Pont.