Derek Anthony Redmond is a retired British athlete and he is best remembered for his performance at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. You might have heard of him.
On that day at the 1992 summer Olympic; Redmond favored to win gold.
How he finished his race could lift your spirit… that all hope is not lost.
You might be interested in this because it confronts you with the difficulties of raising autistic child and searching for the solutions. Did you ever stop to think for a moment that you’re going through one of the toughest time and wondering what the future holds for you and your autistic child?
It is frustrating at times just like Redmond had felt over his favorite sport as his career was blighted by a series of injuries. Redmond was a world-class runner. He was fast. During his illustrious career, he held the British record for the 400 meter sprint.
Before the summer games, he had won gold medals in the 4×400 meter relay at the World Championships, European Championships and the Commonwealth Games which is why pundits tipped him to win.
What happened to him at the Olympic that summer day?
Redmond thundered out of the blocks, as the gun signaled the beginning of the race. From the very moment he started sprinting, it seemed apparent that he would win and carry the Union Jack proudly.
He was in good form by the time of the semi-final, but an unfortunate event changed the course of history.
Redmond started well, but in the back straight about 250 meters from the finish line, his hamstring snapped! You can imagine the pain was so intense that as he hobbled, he collapsed on the track. Obviously you can see that his Olympic dream shattered like a broken glass.
As he kneeled on one knee, in pain, stretcher bearers made their way over to him, but Redmond did the unexpected. He did a thing that would change the meaning of winning, forever. He decided he wanted to finish the race.
He got up and began hopping down the track. The crowd’s jaw dropped, as shown on the live telecast worldwide. As he hobbled along with face a picture of agony, he was joined on the track by his father, Jim Redmond, who barged past security and on to the track to get to his son.
He put his arm around his son’s shoulder as he kept going, sobbing and limping as he went.
And so Jim and Derek complete the lap together. As they crossed the finish line, the crowd of 65,000 spectators rose to give Derek a standing ovation. It was the loudest and longest ovation of the games.
In spite of the pain, in spite of the humiliation and in spite of a shattered Olympic dream, Derek finished his run.
Are you a finisher like Derek?
Probably, you are not the strongest person or have the most brilliant mind. You may have big obstacles between you and your search to give your autistic child a better future. In your journey, I urge you not to let these things stop you.
Whether you are searching for the signs or symptoms of autism, or on course along with your autistic child battling the disorder, keep going… and… FINISH.
As for Derek, he didn’t win the gold but surely, he have won the hearts of 65,000 at the venue and millions others watching on their televisions across the globe, and rose becoming the most famous loser in Olympic history. His secret was simply because he love his sport.
Look at me and listen closely as your child depends on you.
At times, you may feel a little discourage, and it may take heroic courage, strength and determination, but you will cross the finish line because YOU and I know that deep inside you… you are a finisher, you are a fighter, you and your child’s future are brighter than you had ever imagined. And you will be a winner.
I’m hoping you find some JOY because isn’t that what we’re all searching for anyway?