Track Dad Who Helped Son Finish Memorable Race Has Died

Jim and Derek Redmond participated in 'one of the most inspirational moments in Olympic history'
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2022 10:25 AM CDT
Track Dad Who Helped Son Finish Memorable Race Has Died
In this Aug. 3, 1992, file photo, Britain's Derek Redmond grimaces as he's helped from the track by his father, Jim Redmond, after an injury during the semifinals of the men's 400-meter race at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Jim Redmond died Sunday at the age of 81.   (AP Photo/Denis Paquin, File)

Jim Redmond wasn't supposed to be on the track at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. He wasn't even an athlete, yet he played a key role in what the Olympic Committee calls "one of the most inspirational moments in Olympic history." Per NPR, Jim Redmond died Sunday at the age of 81, rekindling memories of the race that effectively ended the running career of his son, British sprinter Derek Redmond. It was Derek's second Olympic appearance; he also competed in Seoul in 1988 but was knocked out by a torn Achilles tendon an hour before his race. He'd had a surgery on his Achilles just four months before Barcelona, but he appeared to be in top form entering the semifinals of the 400-meter race.

Footage from the race shows Redmond off to a strong start heading into the back stretch before he suddenly staggers, reaches for his hamstring, and falls to his knees—never leaving his lane so as not to impede other runners. Instead of giving up, he regained his footing and started limping toward the finish. Per Reuters, as Derek struggled along, "he was joined by his father Jim, who barged past track officials and waved them away, holding his inconsolable son and crossing the line together" as the crowd gave a standing ovation.

Afterward, Jim Redmond told a CBS News reporter that he didn't go to Derek's side with the intention of securing Olympic fame. "I saw my (son) having a problem and it was my duty to help," he said. "I actually went on the track to try to stop him inflicting further damage to himself. It was Derek's idea. ... He asked me to get him back in that lane and I offered him a shoulder to lean on." Twenty years later, Jim Redmond was honored as a torchbearer at the 2012 Olympics in London. Team Great Britain tweeted condolences Tuesday, saying, "Rest in peace Jim Redmond, father to Derek, whose Olympic moment will never be forgotten." (Read more Olympics stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.