Eighteen-year-old NATALIE HARRIS seems to have the perfect life. She is a former World Champion in figure skating, like her parents, and is dating her partner, MASON FORD. They are poised to become the first American pair to win the Olympics while her sister, CHLOE, competes as a solo skater. But, behind the scenes, things are not as golden. Mason is struggling with his jumps, and, even worse, he cheated on Natalie. She broke up with him, but their coach, IVANA, insists they pretend to be in love, for the sake of publicity and potential endorsement deals.
Natalie has been going along with her coach’s plan, but everything changes at their first competition of the Olympic season when Mason bumps into ANNA VOLKOVA, half of Russia’s best pair and current World Champion, on a practice session. Natalie sees Anna’s partner, ALEXEI ORLOV, in the lobby of the official hotel that evening and apologizes. What she doesn’t know is that Alexei has had a crush on her for a long time. He also has reservations for dinner atop the Eiffel Tower and a partner too rattled to go with him as planned. He asks Natalie to accompany him and shows her the city of Paris along the way. At dinner, Natalie gets too comfortable with Alexei and blurts out the truth about her fake relationship with Mason. She also tells him that she doesn’t love skating the way she did as a little kid.
Alexei, now aware that Natalie isn’t “taken” like he thought, asks to see her again. She agrees, but they still have to manage the rest of the event with their new feelings for each other kept secret. Mason’s struggles with jumps come to the forefront with mistakes in both the Short and Long programs, and their coach realizes that Mason needs help from a jump specialist and they plan to withdraw from their next competition so he can get it. Before Natalie returns to California, she and Alexei sneak out to say goodbye – they kiss for the first time beneath the Eiffel Tower.
Back in California, Mason’s jumps continue to deteriorate and Ivana tells them that they will be working with a “jump doctor” based out of Alexei’s rink. Meanwhile, Alexei and Anna go to their next competition of the season, in Russia, where OLGA, their old stalker, resurfaces.
Natalie and Mason arrive in Connecticut to work on Mason’s jumps. Natalie gets to spend time with her best friend, KRISTEN, who does Ice Dance with DIMITRI, a good friend of Alexei’s. Natalie accidentally overhears Dimitri proposing to Kristen – and Kristen stalling, worried that he wants to get married for citizenship for the Olympics. Natalie provides support for her friend while seeing her partner’s jumps improve. They also start working on the throw quad Salchow – a rare and difficult element. Alexei returns, and they can spend time together again, bonding. He is a little more relaxed because Olga never materialized at the competition, but Anna is still struggling. Alexei, Natalie, Mason, Kristen, and Dimitri all take Anna out for a sushi dinner to distract her from the stress, and the awkwardness between Natalie and Mason is rivaled only by the awkwardness between Kristen and Dimitri. In the end, Kristen accepts Dimitri’s proposal before all three teams leave for Skate America in Lake Placid.
After a TV appearance in New York City and a clandestine practice session to show Ivana the quad, it’s on to Skate America, where Natalie is reunited with Alexei. Olga shows up at a practice session and shoots Anna. There is blood on the ice near her left arm and under her head. Olga is captured. While they wait to be questioned, Mason figures out that there is something going on between Natalie and Alexei. After being questioned by the police, Natalie goes to the hospital to support Alexei. There is good news – Anna was shot in the arm, but the blood near her head was caused by her scalp splitting when she fell. Anna does have a concussion, however. Anna claims she is well enough to skate. Alexei insists that it isn’t safe to jump and spin with a concussion. He convinces her to withdraw from the event. Natalie and Mason win Skate America.
Back in California, Natalie and Mason train for the Grand Prix Final and do an interview and photoshoot. Mason threatens to tell the reporter the truth about Alexei unless Natalie agrees to go with him to a nightclub opening. When they get there, it is obvious to Natalie that he is being paid to make an appearance and that he dragged her along for the money. He also pressures her to get physical, and says that their relationship would have worked out if she had slept with him. Mason also makes a mess of the photoshoot by proposing marriage in front of the camera. Natalie runs away, but news of the proposal travels to the Grand Prix Final ahead of them.
The Grand Prix Final, in Tokyo, is the last chance for all the top skaters to face each other before the Olympics. Alexei and Natalie bond over walks amid the Christmas lights and he tells her about his mother’s death, when he was kid. Before the Short Program, Natalie finds Anna in the bathroom, throwing up because she is fearful of skating in public after the shooting. Natalie goes to get help, and the team doctors give Anna anti-anxiety medicine. It isn’t a banned drug, but it leaves her groggy and she doesn’t skate her best. Alexei issues an ultimatum – this is too dangerous, and he will withdraw if this ever happens again. Meanwhile, Natalie and Mason complete a beautiful throw quad Salchow to take the lead. Natalie and Alexei sneak out again to play tourist, and they are caught by Ivana on their way back to the hotel. She tells them that they they cannot hang out together in public places until after the Olympics. Anna and Alexei skate a strong Long Program, and take home the gold after Mason trips during a lift. Natalie goes home with a deeply bruised hip and doctor’s orders to stay off the ice for a few weeks.
Gifts and encouragement from Alexei brighten Natalie’s Christmas, made gloomy by her mother’s dramatics about skating and determination to ignore Chloe. She returns to the ice the next day. Alexei helps her recapture the joy she has lost in her skating. Meanwhile, Alexei and Anna go to Russian Nationals, where Anna’s nerves prevent her from completing a planned interview. Natalie and Mason go to US Nationals, where they win easily. They also get the good news that Chloe has made the Olympic team and that Dimitri’s citizenship has been finalized in time for Kristen and Dimitri to go, as well. Alexei and Anna skate well and win the European Championships.
Natalie and Alexei are reunited in the Olympic village. In the Short Program, Natalie lands the quad perfectly but Mason makes a mistake and they find themselves in second. Anna tells Alexei that the stress is too much and she wants to quit competing after the Olympics are over. Alexei asks Natalie to skate with him next season. She is overjoyed and agrees. When Natalie goes to see her sister after the Ladies Short Program, she catches Mason kissing another girl, right in front of the cameras. Her mother, usually controlling and demanding, is encouraging for once and shows Natalie the first gold medal Natalie ever won as a kid. Newly inspired, Natalie skates a beautiful program to Swan Lake, privately pretending that she is already skating with Alexei. Anna makes a small mistake, and Natalie and Mason win. Natalie and Mason end their partnership. Kristen and Dimitri narrowly lose the gold medal and Chloe finishes just off the podium.
The story ends when Natalie and Alexei have their first trial lesson together with both of their coaches. He proposes on the ice, and she accepts, but their coaches tell them that they will need to keep the engagement a secret for a while.