One of the greatest thing about being an athlete is winning and getting to the pinnacle of success.
However winning is not only measured by coming out ahead of your opponents but starting a task and completing it.
Most sportsmen and women sometimes do not see themselves as prosperous as they seem to be because of the mentality about not receiving a medal for their deeds.
At one particular point or another in the career of an athlete, injury setbacks are always issues to contend with, so getting back to full fitness and form requires the right mental attitude.
Derek Redmond is one of the most celebrated and respected Olympian of all time due to his fit at the Barcelona 92’ summer games which is still relevant to our time.
Ironically, the British quarter miler did not win the 400meters event but something dramatic happened in the course of the race at the semi final stage.
Before the Games in Barcelona, Redmond posted the best time at the qualifying rounds whereby smashing the British record in the 400meters which put him in a potential medal position for his country.
In that same year after the qualifiers, he had undergone eight surgical operations due to his nagging injuries which was what marred his chances at the previous Seoul 88’ Olympics withdrawing in the opening round.
Redmond showed the stuff he was made of and how prepared he was by winning the 4x400meters gold for the British relay team at the 1991 World Athletics Championships.
The British Champion was confident that he was a potential candidate for a medal at the summer games. His first heat was a solid run as his strides posted to be his best in the last four years.
His form improved further in his second heat as he crossed the finish line without any meaningful competition declaring he was not going back home without gold.
In the penultimate round, Derek believed he was just one step away from realizing his ambition by finishing in one of the top three positions and earning himself a long awaited Olympic medal.
“I had a great warm up, stride and everything went well, came out on the track, put my blocks down, no problem.
“Started to stripped down, then you have a little bit where you’re standing your lane and they come shove a camera in your face so everyone can see who you are, blocked that out and everything.
“Then they said; On your marks, get set, and we took off,” he said.
Redmond started the race well in lane 5 alongside Nigeria’s Sunday Bada and others. But after 150meters, tragedy struck as he tore a hamstring muscle and with a few more steps he fell to the ground in pain and agony.
He saw the other athletes run past him and crossed the finish line then he knew that his hard work was all over for him in the most painful way possible.
Knowing full well that he was out of the contest he managed to hobble through the remainder of the while writhing in pain and agony as he wept uncontrollably.
But that did not stop him as he was offered help by the medics to stop which he refused. He was determined not to go down without a fight.
However his biggest fan, in person of his father, Jim stormed out from the spectators into the track to support him through the final few meters resting on his shoulders as a crutch in the last 100meters.
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Meanwhile, back at Derek’s home town in Northampton England, his pregnant sister watching her brother and father on live television was thrown into labor earlier than expected.
In front of the cheering 65,000 crowd at the stadium in Barcelona, Derek wept in pain till he crossed the finish line and instantly he became a celebrity.
He received plaudits from around the world for his perseverance and a show of true sportsmanship for striving through the pain not for the glory of winning but crossing the finish line.
He proved that you do not have to win to be an Olympic hero. Derek became more honorable when he completed the task of crossing the finish line than the athletes that won the race.
Derek’s story preaches the lesson that: No matter how far your opposition has left you behind, never lose your position by giving up.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com asked Nigerians to name the club they think would win the UEFA Champions League and we got some pretty interesting options.