Derrick Redmond’s last game

Derek and Jim Redmond (Cordon Press)
Derek and Jim Redmond (Cordon Press)

Power is measured in kilograms. Speed ​​is measured in seconds. courage? You cannot measure courage.
(Olympic Committee promotional video, based on Derek Raymond).

Derrick Anthony Redmond He didn’t win any medals in Barcelona ’92, but he left us with an unforgettable story that showed sacrifice, willpower and the love between a father and a son. The 1992 Olympics was the pinnacle of his career. He was the favorite to win gold in the 400-meter dash, reaching the peak of his physical and mental powers after a life plagued by injuries.

Derek Redmond burst onto the scene in British Athletics when he broke the national record in the 400m dash at just 19 years old. It was 1985 and the Seoul Olympics three years later were the young athlete’s main goal. His preparation for these races was impeccable: in 1986 he twice won the gold medal for his country in the 4x400m relay at the European Athletics Championships and the Commonwealth Games, and the following year he competed in the same category won a silver medal behind the all-rounder. USA. On an individual level he was always close to the medal table, but he was still too young and his improvement was huge. His time has not yet come.

But it won’t be in Seoul. Four or five weeks before the 1988 Olympics, Derek began experiencing severe pain in his Achilles tendon. She stopped training before the Olympics, desperately waiting for her body to heal. However, just minutes before the 400m sprint, while warming up, the pain came back and went away before the race even started. He would undergo up to five surgeries over the next few months.

During this painful and desperate process, Derek received valuable support from his father, Jim Raymond, his greatest supporter, his best friend, his shadow wherever he goes. Of course, he would be by his side at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, at the height of his career, where he won gold in the 400m relay in one of the best long-distance relays of all time Defeated the seemingly invincible American team. please remember.

Just like that, we arrived in Barcelona on August 3, 1992. Redmond is back from injury following his last intervention four months ago and is in top form, with a heavy workload and a thirst for metal behind him. The semi-finals were just a formality. One more step toward the final, then a smooth walk toward the hanging metal. Father and son know what they went through to get there. They know what Derek is capable of. They knew I was going to get it.

Start shooting.

All runners set off. In the audience, his father slumped over in his middle seat, tense as steel. As for Derek…he’s flying. He took off with great force and soon his legs were kicking the tartan at breakneck speed, allowing him to find a comfortable position at the front. I’m talking about: a program. He is too powerful, he has sacrificed more than anyone else to get here, and there is no way the race can escape his grasp.

However, less than two hundred meters from the finish line, he noticed a broken right leg, followed by a sharp pain. He placed his hands on the back of his thighs, wincing in pain as all his opponents passed him.

In the stands, Jim’s world is falling apart. He couldn’t believe what was happening. He couldn’t, but most of all he didn’t want to believe it.

Derek was kneeling on the floor with his left knee, his right hand on his thigh, his head bowed. It sank. His eyes filled with tears, but not from the pain of his injury. The game continued around him, but all eyes were on him. A medical team ran towards him with a stretcher, ready to treat him. “No, I’m not going to be on a stretcher. “I’m ending my career. ” Then he stood up. His face was contorted with pain, cry and despair, and he began to trudge forward, barely holding on to his right leg. The sixty-five thousand attendees captured the epicness of this moment, and their A metaphor for the cruelty and ruthlessness of life witnessed firsthand. Genuine applause began to form.

Derek Raymond

Jim jumped out of his seat, ran down the steps, dodged the crowd, bumped into them, and finally made it onto the track. Security tried to stop him, but there was nothing anyone could do at that moment. He has been with his son all his life, and in the most painful moment of his life, he needs to be with his son more than ever.

Then Jim caught up with Derek. Fearing that his son would be hurt even more, he asked him to stop and end this nonsense, but Derek was determined: he knew this might be the last game of his life, and he was determined to finish it.

The father once again grabbed his son, became his support, and rushed to the finish line with him. Then reality dropped all its weight on Derek, and for a moment he stopped and hugged his father, his face lacerated with agony and anguish. But they set off again. By then, the crowd was on its feet, the applause turning into a roar, propelling an increasingly limp Derek Raymond. After some hardships, they crossed the finish line together. Then my father’s face fell apart and he started crying. Father and son hugged each other, heartbroken.

After the game, his father announced to the media: “I am the proudest father in the world. If he had won the gold medal, I would have been even more proud of him. “It took a lot of courage to do what he did. “

That would be Derrick Raymond’s last game. A surgeon delivered a fatal verdict: He would never be able to represent his country as an athlete again. But he didn’t give up; even less so did his father, who encouraged his son to participate in other sports once track and field proved unfeasible. He started playing basketball, and… well, you could say it wasn’t bad for him: he went on to play professionally and play for Team GB. He sent a signed photo of the team to doctors who said he could never represent his country again.

As if that wasn’t challenging enough for a man whose sporting career seemed doomed, he then decided to dedicate his efforts to rugby, intending to become a member of Team GB in order to represent his country in three different sports. . However, he was ultimately left out of the call.

Derek Redmond and Mariah Redmond (Photo: Cordon Press)

Currently, Derek devotes himself to motivational speaking, touching all types of audiences with his power and inspiring people with his stories, from workers to students. Of course, his competitive spirit has not diminished and he is also co-owner of the Splilatath Redmond motorcycle team, competing in the Manx TT, Macau Grand Prix and World Endurance Motorcycle Championship.

He may never win a major championship with his team. Of course, he never won as many medals as them. Carl Lewis anyone Paavo Rumi, and in that game in Barcelona in 1992, he was eventually disqualified for accepting help from his father. But his story evokes Olympic ideals more than those of the most successful athletes. His track and field career didn’t go as he planned, but it remains one of the most beautiful.

The pain is temporary, but the glory is eternal (Derek Redmond).

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