Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Anyone remember the 400 meter race from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in which a runner injured his hamstring about halfway around the course?

Derek Redmond grabbed the back of his left leg, fell to the ground and sat down. Unable to run, he looked back at the distance that he had completed, then closed his eyes and rolled over on his back. Olympics personnel approached to place Derek Redmond on a stretcher and carry him off to receive medical treatment.

Redmond shrugged off their attention, courageously gathered himself, rose to his feet, and started hopping toward the finish line.

A murmur swept through the crowd as the next scene unfolded. Derek Redmond's father was in the stands. Seeing his son hurt, Jim Redmond reacted. Pushing aside spectators and even staff from the Olympics, Mr. Redmond ran down to the track and caught up with his son.

The father walked along beside his son for several meters, and after whispering words of encouragement, he got his son to stop. He told his son, "You don't have to do this." Derek Redmond replied, "Yes, I do!"

Jim Redmond responded, "Then we'll do it together." He placed Derek's arms around his shoulders, and the two hobbled off toward the finish line.

The murmur from the crowd turned into a roar. Somehow the audience knew that what they were witnessing would be the defining moment of that Olympics and etched in their memories forever.

As the Redmonds neared the end of the race, the son could only hold on, limp, and weep into his father's shoulder. The crowd of 65,000 stood and roared in applause and encouragement.

Together, father and son finished the course.

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