Derek Redmond

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Derek Redmond
Derek Redmond.jpg
Personal information
Full nameDerek Anthony Redmond
Born(1965-09-03) 3 September 1965 (age 48)
Bletchley, Buckinghamshire
Sport
Country Great Britain
 
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Derek Redmond
Derek Redmond.jpg
Personal information
Full nameDerek Anthony Redmond
Born(1965-09-03) 3 September 1965 (age 48)
Bletchley, Buckinghamshire
Sport
Country Great Britain

Derek Anthony Redmond (born 3 September 1965) is a retired British athlete. During his career, he held the British record for the 400 metres sprint, and won gold medals in the 4x400 metres relay at the World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

However, his career was blighted by a series of injuries. At the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona he tore his hamstring in the 400 metres semi-final but continued the race limping and, with assistance from his father, managed to complete a full lap of the track as the crowd gave him a standing ovation. The incident has become a well-remembered moment in Olympic history, having been the subject of one of the International Olympic Committee's 'Celebrate Humanity' videos and been used in advertisements by Visa as an illustration of the Olympic spirit and featured in Nike's "Courage" commercials in 2008.

Personal life[edit]

Redmond was born in Bletchley in Buckinghamshire and educated at Roade School, Northamptonshire, where a multi-use sports hall is named after him. He is a supporter of Newcastle United FC in the Premier League.[1][2]

Redmond was married to the British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies in 1994 in Northampton. They divorced in 2000. The couple had two children, Elliott Anthony (born 1993, Northampton) and Grace Elizabeth (born 1998, Gloucestershire).[3]

On 26 August 2011, Redmond married Maria Yates.

Athletics career[edit]

Redmond first broke the British record for the 400 meters in 1985 with a run of 44.82 seconds. This record was subsequently broken by Roger Black, but Redmond reclaimed the record in 1987 with a run of 44.50 seconds. The record lasted until 1992.

In 1986, Redmond was a member of teams that won the 4x400 metres relay gold medal at both the European Championships and Commonwealth Games. The following year, he was on the team that won the 4x400 metres relay silver medal at the World Championships.

At the 1991 World Championships Redmond was a member of the British team that shocked the athletics world by beating the much-favoured American team into second place to claim the gold medal in the 4x400 metres relay. Redmond ran the second leg in the final and, together with team-mates Roger Black, John Regis and Kriss Akabusi, ran what was then the second-fastest 4x400 metres relay in history.

Injuries consistently interrupted Redmond's career. At the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, he pulled out of the opening round of the 400 metres 90 seconds before his heat was due because of an injury to his achilles. Before the 1992 Summer Olympics, he had undergone eight operations due to injuries.

1992 Summer Olympics[edit]

However, he was in good form by the time of the Barcelona Olympics. He posted the fastest time of the first round, and went on to win his quarter-final. In the semi-final, Redmond started well, but in the back straight about 250 metres from the finish, his hamstring snapped. He hobbled to a halt, and then fell to the ground in pain. Stretcher bearers made their way over to him, but Redmond decided he wanted to finish the race. He began to hobble along the track. He was soon joined on the track by his father, Jim Redmond, who barged past security and on to the track to get to his son. Jim and Derek completed the lap of the track together, with Derek leaning on his father's shoulder for support. As they crossed the finish line, the crowd of 65,000 spectators rose to give Derek a standing ovation. However, as his father had helped him finish, Derek was officially disqualified and Olympic records state that he "Did Not Finish" the race.[4][5]

Redmond's struggle in the 1992 semi-final later became the subject of one of the International Olympic Committee's 'Celebrate Humanity' videos, which proclaimed "Force is measured in kilograms. Speed is measured in seconds. Courage? You can't measure courage". In 2008, Redmond was featured in the "Go World" series of Visa advertisements promoting the Olympic Games. The advertisement highlights his 1992 injury, noting that "he and his father finished dead last, but he and his father finished", narrated by actor Morgan Freeman.

On January 10, 2012, it was announced that his father Jim would be one of the Olympic torch bearers in London for the Summer Games.[6]

Retirement[edit]

Two years after the Olympics in Barcelona, he was told by a surgeon that he would never run again or represent his country in sport. However, after coming to terms with the loss of athletics as a career, he began to turn his attention, with the encouragement of his father, to other sports that he enjoyed. After trials at several basketball clubs, he secured a place on the Great Britain national basketball team. He sent a signed photo of the team to the surgeon who had assured him he would never represent his country in sport again. After playing basketball professionally, he turned his attention to rugby, another of his favorite sports and managed to reach division 1 with the intention of representing Great Britain professionally in three different disciplines of sport. However, after completing trials for the England Sevens team, he was denied a place on the squad.

Redmond formerly served as Director of Development for sprints and hurdles for UK Athletics.

In 1994, Redmond won Celebrity Gladiators, and during the third series of Gladiators (1994), he served as "Official Timekeeper" to Referee John Anderson. Redmond has also served as a commentator for Eurosport, and presented a basketball show on ITV.

Redmond raced a motorcycle in the Hottrax Motorsport Racing Club with his team in conjunction with Maria Costello, as Costello Redmond Racing. The team finished second in the 2009 Senior 1000 Tag Endurance championship where three team members raced relay style over a six hour period at seven national UK circuits.

Redmond currently does motivational speaking on the conference circuit, inspiring people with the story of the 4x400 gold medal triumph and his famous ordeal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He currently co-owns a Superbike Team.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allen, Peter. '5–0: Newcastle give champs their biggest beating for 12 years' Daily Mirror 21 Oct 1996, p 1
  2. ^ White, Stephen. 'Genius who turned game into an art' Daily Mirror 19 May 1997, p. 9. Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved on 2012-06-17.
  3. ^ Marriages and Births England and Wales 1984–2006[dead link]
  4. ^ Many cried, many were inspired by the retired athlete. I hated the world, then I felt a hand on my shoulder. Observer.guardian.co.uk (2007-01-07). Retrieved on 2012-06-17.
  5. ^ Derek and dad finish Olympic 400 together. Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved on 2012-06-17.
  6. ^ 2012 London Games – Derek Redmond's father to carry Olympic torch – ESPN. Espn.go.com (2012-01-10). Retrieved on 2012-06-17.

External links[edit]