An Olympian’s Hero: Father Who Helped His Injured Son Cross 1992 Olympic Finish Line Dies At 81

Jim Redmond, who ran to his injured son’s aid during his 1992 Olympic 400m semifinal, has reportedly died at age 81.

The valiant father passed away on Sunday, October 2, “peacefully in his sleep” in England’s Northampton General Hospital, according to his son, Derek. The news was announced on the two-time Olympian’s Instagram, along with a series of heartwarming photos of his late father.

“It is with great sadness that I am writing this post to share the news that my hero, best friend my father has passed away,” Derek’s caption began.

“To say he will be greatly missed is a true understatement.”

It was at the 1992 Barcelona Games when the Redmond patriarch helped his son display his true talent: to not quit.

Track & Field: 1992 Summer Olympics: Great Britain’s Derek Redmond with father after hamstring injury during Men’s 400M Semifinal Heat 1 at Estadi Olimpic de Montjuic. Barcelona, Spain 8/1/1992–8/4/1992 CREDIT: Bill Frakes (Photo by Bill Frakes /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X43168 TK35 )


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Derek Redmond (@therealderekredmond)

“There is so much I could say about this man but he was truly one of my heroes in life, anyone who knows me or has heard me present will know how much he inspired me in my life, how close we were and what he meant to me,” Derek’s caption continued.

In the first 15 seconds of the race, Derek fell, due to a pull in his right hamstring, NBC Sports reported. Determined to cross the finish line, Derek limped around the track while refusing help from officials. He faltered with each step until he received a crutch from his first true hero.

In a previous NBC Olympics profile interview, Derek recalled hearing his dad’s voice telling him that he didn’t need to finish the race. But Derek shouted back that he wanted to.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Derek Redmond (@therealderekredmond)

“He was sort of saying things like, ‘You’ve got nothing to prove. You’re a champion. You’ll come back. You’re one of the best guys in the world. You’re a true champion. You’ve got heart. You’re going to get over this. We’ll conquer the world together,’” Derek said, per the sports outlet.

In a video of the inspiring moment, a standing ovation filled the stadium. Jim Redmond has since been recognized for embodying the “Olympic spirit.” He was even nominated to carry the Olympic torch during the London 2012 Torch Relay, according to CNN.

“Rest in peace Dad, you have truly made me the person I am today,” Derek closed his caption.