In the year 2000, a jury convenes in Friesland to elect the Sportsman of the Century. One man, Sake Wiarda, tries to convince his fellow-jury members not to nominate a sports hero like Abe Lenstra, but to give preference to the Frisian pole-squatter Taeke Jongsma. In flashbacks, Wiarda tells his audience the life story of this worker's son, who since childhood tries to escape the oppression of the working class in the thirties. Taeke finds out he is a splendid pole-squatter, but his record attempts are repeatedly thwarted by his great rival in love. Against the background of the historical changes in the previous century, the love story gradually unfolds between the pole-squatter and the farmer's daughter.