Value of Fathers: The Derek Redmond story

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Derek Redmond was a British running prodigy during the 1980′s and early 1990′s.  At age 19 he tore the British record for the 400 meters to shreds.  It is not, however, for that record (which was eventually broken) that he’ll be remembered.  Redmond will be remembered for his performance in the semifinals of the 400-meter dash in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

In 1988, Redmond had to pull out of the Olympics 10 minutes before the race due to a torn Achilles tendon.  The next year, Redmond underwent five different surgeries and began a long road to recovery.  By 1992, he was ready to show the world that he was a force to be reckoned with.

Related: Derek and Dad finish Olympic 400 together

Coming around the backstretch, Redmond was in a great position to qualify for the medal race.  Suddenly, with 175 meters remaining to qualification, Redmond both felt and heard a sharp pop from his right leg.  In later interviews, Redmond said he was so surprised by the noise from his leg, he thought he had been shot.  But like the British record he had ripped to shreds at 19, Redmond had torn his hamstring to bits.  His dream of an Olympic medal was gone.

Redmond knelt down in agony, and the medical teams came on the track with a stretcher to carry him off.  Redmond wouldn’t have it.  One-legged, tears streaming down his face, Redmond rose and proceeded to hobble his way in agony toward the finish.  The fans, many of which were also in tears at this point, cheered him on.

Suddenly, another man jumped the railings and burst through Olympic security, fighting to reach Redmond.

It was his father, Jim.

Related: Persistence in children attributed to fathers (study)

The elder Redmond told his son he didn’t have to finish, but the younger again wouldn’t have it.  The father put his son’s arm over his shoulder, and the two continued the march to the finish together.

The cheering from 65,000 fans reached a fever pitch.

Just before the finish line, the elder Redmond released his hold on his son so that he could finish the race on his own, and Derek Redmond had sealed his name into history.

Source : http://familynews.com/the-derek-redmond-story/

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