Victory Sample: Derek Redmond, UK Sprinter
Define victory: never giving up, never quitting
Facts (Who, What, Where)
Redmond UK Olympic sprinter, Redmond racing in 1992 400 meter semis in Barcelona
Tears hamstring c. 250 m into race, collapsed on track
Redmond refused to get on stretcher, wanted to finish race
"No, there's no way I'm getting on that stretcher. I'm going to finish my race." (Weinberg)
Begins to hobble way to finish line
Father comes out of stands to help him after telling security what he was doing
"That's my son out there," he yells back to security, "and I'm going to help him."
"I'm here, son," Jim says softly, hugging his boy. "We'll finish together." (Weinberg)
Father (Jim) helps Redmond cross finish line
How and Why Redmond achieved victory:
Did not give up – wanted to finish race despite torn hamstring
Considered Olympic legend for finishing out his race
Derek Redmond’s Victory: “I’m Going to Finish My Race”
The phrase “If you’re second, you’re just the first loser,” has emerged in our culture in recent years. This belief focuses exclusively on ‘victory’ as winning in terms of
winning a race, game, trophy, or championship. This definition ignores athletes like Derek Redmond who exhibit courage by the act of simply finishing a competition despite a
In 1992, Derek Redmond of Great Britain qualified for the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. He was considered a medal contender in the 400-meter sprint event.
Redmond was in the lead in his semifinal heat at the 250-meter stage when he heard a ‘pop’ and began to experience incredible pain. Redmond’s hamstring had torn in two,
destroying his dreams of medaling in the Olympic Games. Derek collapsed to the track as thousands of spectators reacted with shocked gasps. The medical attendants brought out a
stretcher, seeking to aid Redmond off the track. Derek had other ideas. He refused to get on the stretcher, declaring, “I’m going to finish my race.” (Weinberg) He began to hobble
down the track in search of finishing his quest. Redmond’s father, Jim, saw what was happening to Derek and made his way to help his son. After telling the security team, “That’s
my son out there, and I’m going to help him” (Weinberg), Jim reached Derek and put his arm around him, saying “We’ll finish together.” (Weinberg) In a moment that would be
etched in Olympic history, Jim helped Derek down the track despite the untimely injury that dashed Derek’s medal hopes. Spectators cheered as Derek finished his race at last.
Olympic records will show that Derek Redmond finished last in his semifinal heat. Redmond never achieved his dream of reaching the medal platform in the Olympics. Yet, in
finishing last, Derek Redmond was victorious. He did not give up despite a serious injury. It would have been easy for him to be stretchered off the track and not cross the finish
line. Derek chose the harder path, the path of finishing his race. He may have been the last competitor to complete his event, but Redmond was no loser. He achieved ‘victory’ by
fighting through tremendous pain to finish his race.
Weinberg, Rick; 94: Derek and Dad Finish Olympic 400 Together; ESPN: http://espn.go.com/espn/espn25/story?page=moments/94; accessed April 14, 2016
BBC Sport; Olympic Moments: Derek Redmond’s Father Helps Him Over Line; http://www.bbc.com/sport/olympics/17779148, accessed April 14, 2016.
International Olympic Committee; Derek Redmond’s Emotional Olympic Story – Injury Mid-Race Barcelona 1992 Olympics
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2G8KVzTwfw, accessed April 14, 2016
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