Jim Redmond inadvertently provided the world with an iconic and heartwarming moment during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona when he helped his son Derek cross the finish line of the 400-meter semifinal after he suffered an injury mid-race. The elder Redmond died on Sunday at the age of 81.
"Our thoughts are with Derek Redmond and his family following the death of his father, Jim. Together, they brought us one of the most inspirational moments in Olympic history," read a statement from the official Olympics Games Twitter account.
Representing the United Kingdom for Team GB, Derek qualified for the semifinals after clocking the fastest time in his heat. His race looked promising but he unfortunately pulled his right hamstring in the middle of it and went down to the ground in visible pain. Officials tried to help him up, but he refused their assistance. He got up and started limping while attempting to continue the race.
His father was in attendance and saw this unfold. He rushed to check on his son, even though security didn't initially know who he was and was trying to stop him. Derek was so focused on reaching the finish line that he didn't notice who was coming toward him. He was ready to fend off this man too, until he realized it was his own dad.
Derek said he preferred to finish the race last than to not finishing it at all. In an interview with BBC Sport in 2012, he said his father had originally come to stop him, but then realized how important this was for his son and decided to stay by his side to help him accomplish his goal.
"He tried to talk me out of it at first," Derek said. "He was telling me that I had nothing to prove and that I didn't need to do this, but I told him I was going to finish. Then he said that we would do it together."
"So we did, and I limped over the line in tears."