“We’re going to finish this together.”
A Reason to Smile
In our continued attempts to bring moments of hope and beauty to our discussions here at Steady, we have another installment today of our “A Reason to Smile” series (formerly “Smile for a Saturday”).
As with many of our previous offerings, it may spark some tears, as well — albeit tears that come from seeing something inspirational.
The impetus for sharing today’s video is actually a sad occasion — the passing of Jim Redmond earlier this month at the age of 81 in Northampton, England. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, you might remember his son, Derek, and a remarkable event that occurred 30 years ago at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
It was the semifinals of the men’s 400 meters in track and field. Derek Redmond, one of the best sprinters Great Britain had ever produced, was a favorite to win a medal. He got off to a great start, but as he approached the halfway point, he suddenly broke his stride and pulled up, grasping the back of his leg.
He quickly crumpled to the track, writhing in pain. He had torn his hamstring. His Olympic dreams were over. But not his Olympic story.
What happened next became an iconic moment in sports history. Willing himself back up, Redmond limped forward, determined to go on. All that training, all that sacrifice, all the dedication and hard work Redmond had invested to shape his body for strength and speed was now leveraged toward one final goal — finishing the race.
Jim, who had been sitting in the stands, rushed to his son’s aid. By then, Derek was sobbing in agony and disappointment.
“You don’t have to do this,” the son remembered his father comforting him. “You don’t have to put yourself through this.” When Derek responded that he had to, Jim then said, “Well, then, we’re going to finish this together.”
And they did. A crescendo of cheers swept the Olympic stadium, with millions of TV watchers doubtless joining in around the world.
The lessons we can take from this event are the stuff of motivational sayings. But in this case, they are also quite literal.
When fate knocks you down, try to pick yourself up.
There is value in the journey as well as the destination.
When in need, lean on someone you love.
When others are in need, help carry their burdens.
Winning isn’t everything.
Thank you, Jim Redmond, for a moment of time that still inspires. With a smile, a tear, and deep gratitude, may you rest in peace.
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