Happy Father's Day!
June 15, 2008 - Erik Brown
Derek Redmond shattered the British men’s 400 meter record at age 19. But, sadly, he was forced to withdraw from the final of the 400 meters at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, only 10 minutes before the race, because of an Achilles tendon injury.
Over the next year, he underwent five surgeries and began training for his comeback at the 1992 Olympic Games. When the Barcelona Games finally arrived, he was ready to show the world how good he was.
Derek's father Jim had accompanied him to Barcelona, just as he did for all world competitions. The two were as close as a father and son could be.
The top four finishers in each of the two semifinal heats qualify for the Olympic final. As race time approached for the semifinal 400 heat, Jim headed up to his seat at the top of Olympic Stadium, not far from where the Olympic torch was lit just a few days earlier. He was wearing a T-shirt that read, "Have you hugged your foot today?"
Redmond ran the first 100 meters very well and was in excellent position as the field headed down the backstretch. After the race, Jim Redmond told the press, "I'm the proudest father alive.” But what happened in between those moments was more dramatic than any Hollywood screenwriter could ever have scripted. Click here to see it for yourself.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads reading this, especially to my Dad (in Heaven) who instilled in me, my love for track & field and distance running, and to my father-in-law who had so much to do with all of the success my better half has had as a runner.