Father Who Helped His Injured Son Cross The Finish Line At The 1992 Olympics Dies


still via Olympics YouTube

One thing about Black parents… they’re going to see you through it.

Jim Redmond, who helped his injured son, Derek Redmond, cross the finish line at the 1992 Barcelona Games in one of the most memorable Olympic moments, died last Sunday. He was 81.

The British athlete announced his father’s death in an emotional Instagram post stating that his “hero and best friend” had passed. 

Thirty years ago, the father-son duo delivered an unforgettable moment, when Derek pulled a hamstring mid-race. In a combination of collapses from pain and tenacious hobbling Derek fought to make it down the track’s lane. 

Jim’s fatherly instincts kicked in and he rushed onto the track to tend to his injured son. As Derek tried to cover his face held his son’s wrist seemingly trying to show him that there was no shame in the defeat. Olympic officials tried to pull the two off the track but Jim swatted them away as he and his son made it down the lane.

Eventually, Derek succumbed to his injury and left the track, not finishing the race. However, the audience stood and applauded the moment.

“Whatever happens, he had to finish. And I was there to help him finish. I intended to go over the line with him.” Jim told the BBC cameras after the race. “We started his career together. And I think we should finish it together.” 

The glorious moment is among the greatest athletic moments in history, displaying heart and perseverance. 

Much was expected from Derek heading into the Barcelona games as he had posted the fastest time of the first round, and went on to win his quarter-final.

At the time, Derek was already an Olympic gold and silver medalist heading into the Barcelona Games. He first broke the British record for the 400 meters in 1985 with a run of 44.82 seconds. In 1986, Redmond was a member of the team that won the 4×400 meters relay gold medal at the European Championships. In the following year, he was on the team that won the 4×400 meters relay, snatching a silver medal at the World Championships.

The athletics world was shocked in ’91 when Derek and the British team beat the favored American team at the 1991 World Championships in the 4×400 meters relay.

Two years after the Olympics in Barcelona, a surgeon told Derek he would never run again or represent his country in sport. But from the encouragement of his father, he went on to play professional basketball for the Birmingham Bullets and the England national team

Jim and Derek were the Olympic torch bearers for the 2012 London for the Summer Games. 


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