Jim Redmond, who helped his son Derek to the finish line in the 1992 Olympics, has died aged 81.




CNN

Jim Redmond, who supported his beloved son Derek in the 1992 Barcelona 400m semi-final in one of the most poignant and iconic moments of the Olympics, has died aged 81, his family has announced.

“It is with great sadness that I write this post to share the news that my hero, my best friend, my father, has passed away,” Derek wrote on Instagram on Tuesday.

“There is so much I could say about this man but he was truly one of the heroes of my life, anyone who knows me or has heard me introduce myself will know how much he inspired me in my life, how close we were and what he meant to me. To say he will be greatly missed is a real understatement.” .

Before he was injured in the semi-final, Derek was one of Team Great Britain’s brightest hopes in Spain.

She qualified fastest in the first round and won her quarter-final, following on from her gold medal-winning 4x400m relay team at the world championships the previous year.

But, in his semi-final over the 250m mark, Derek tore his hamstring – his second successive Olympic disappointment after an Achilles injury four years earlier.

As his competitors crossed the line, Derek got off the ground and started towards the finish line alone until his father came out of the stands, beckoning the stewards’ attention, to help.

Images and clips of Jim comforting his son as they crossed the finish line to a standing ovation have become iconic and used as symbols of the “Olympic spirit”.

A video shared by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2016 amassed 110 million views in just one year, according to Derek’s official website, while former US President Barack Obama used the moment in a speech as an example of “when the human spirit triumphed”. It must have been impossible to overcome the injury.”

Tributes poured in from the sporting world for Jim, who later became a torchbearer for the 2012 London Games.

“Our thoughts are with Derek Redmond and his family on the passing of his father, Jim. Together, they brought us one of the most inspiring moments in Olympic history,” the IOC said. he said.

“I remember this so clearly,” said four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson, part of the victorious United States 4x400m relay team in Barcelona. he said. “Derek’s father’s love and support for his son was shown to the world at that difficult time. My condolences to Derek and his family.”