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REDMOND Derek

Derek REDMOND

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Finishing At Any Cost

Derek Redmond's running career was frustrated by injury. In 1988, Redmond was forced to withdraw from the opening heat of the Olympic 400m contest only two minutes before the race was scheduled to begin.

By the time of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, he had undergone five operations, including one on his Achilles tendon less than four months before the Games began.

In Barcelona, everything seemed to be coming together for Redmond at last. He was running well: he recorded the fastest time of the first round and he won his quarterfinal heat. As he settled into the blocks for the start of his semifinal race, Redmond's thoughts turned to his father, Jim, and the support he had always given Derek. Derek got off to a clean start and was running smoothly when, about 150m into the race, his right hamstring muscle tore and he fell to the ground.

When he saw the stretcher-bearers rushing towards him, he knew he had to finish the race. Redmond jumped up and began hobbling forward despite the pain he felt. His father ran out of the stands and joined him on the track. Hand in hand, with Derek sobbing, they continued. Just before the finish, Jim let go of his son and Derek completed the course on his own, as the crowd of 65,000 gave him a standing ovation.

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