London, England–A reader recently reminded me of a great father-son story–the Derek Redmond story. According to Wikipedia:
Derek Redmond (born September 3, 1965 in Bletchley) is a retired English athlete…As a 400 metres and 4 x 400 metres runner, he won gold medals at the European, Commonwealth, and World Championships. His career highlights included a fifth place finish over 400 m at the 1987 World Championships and a 1991 World Championships 4×400 m gold medal. However, disappointment came at the 1992 Summer Olympics in the 400m race. He posted the fastest time of the first round, and won his quarter-final. In the semi-final, Redmond started well, but in the back straight about 250m from the finish, his hamstring tore. Redmond hobbled to a halt, and then fell to the ground in pain. As stretcher bearers made their way over to him, he knew he wanted to finish the race. He began to hobble along the track, with pain etched upon his face. He was soon joined on the track by his father, Jim Redmond, who had supported Derek for his whole career. Jim shocked the world by barging past security to get to his son. Shortly before the line, Jim let go of his son, and he completed the race, with a standing ovation from the crowd of 65,000. Unfortunately, since his father had helped him finish, Derek was disqualified from even listing as finishing. After he finished his race, sitting alone under the stands, Redmond was approached by Linford Christie, the 100-meter gold-medal winner. The two British runners had never liked each other. They rarely spoke. This time, Christie put his arms around Redmond. Both men cried. “He has a heart,” Redmond said. “I’ve changed my views of him completely.” Redmond later became the subject of one of the IOC’s ‘celebrate humanity’ videos. The video featured his struggle in the 1992 Olympic semi-final… In 2008 Redmond was featured in a Visa advertisement promoting the Olympic Games. The advertisement highlights the 1992 injury. The advertisement emphasized the fact that both he and his father finished “dead last, but he, and his father finished”. However, the Olympic results list that he “Did Not Finish” and remains unranked.
To watch the video, click here or see below. One amusing part is when the father tells off a security official who tries to separate him from his hobbled son. Thanks to Mister-M, a reader, for the video.