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The Barcelona Olympics of 1992 provided one of track and field’s most incredible moments.


Britain’s Derek Redmond had dreamed all his life of winning a gold medal in the 400-meter race, and his dream was in sight as the gun sounded in the semi-finals at Barcelona. He was running the race of his life and could see the finish line as he rounded the turn into the backstretch. Suddenly he felt a sharp pain go up the back of his leg. He fell face first onto the track with a torn right hamstring.


Sports Illustrated recorded the dramatic events: As the medical attendants were approaching, Redmond fought to his feet. "It was animal instinct," he would say later. He set out hopping, in a crazed attempt to finish the race. When he reached the stretch, a large man in a T-shirt came out of the stands, hurled aside a security guard and ran to Redmond, embracing him. It was Jim Redmond, Derek’s father. "You don’t have to do this," he told his weeping son. "Yes, I do," said Derek. "Well, then," said Jim, "we’re going to finish this together."


And they did. Fighting off security men, the son’s head sometimes buried in his father’s shoulder, they stayed in Derek’s lane all the way to the end, as the crowd gaped, then rose and howled and wept.


Derek didn’t walk away with the gold medal, but he walked away with an incredible memory of a father who, when he saw his ...

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