Jim Redmond, Man Who Helped Son Across Finish Line at 1992 Olympics, Dies at 81

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images)

Jim Redmond, who helped his son in one of the most inspirational moments in the history of the Olympic Games, reportedly passed away Sunday. He was 81.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) announced his passing on Tuesday morning. Jim Redmond and his son, Derek, provided one of the most inspirational moments you’ll ever see during the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Derek Redmond, running for his native United Kingdom in the 400m, had his sights set on medaling after posting the fastest time in his heat. 15 seconds into the semifinal race, however, he pulled up with a hamstring injury and fell to the track.

Derek Redmond got up and began limping his way around the track when an uncredentialed man appeared from the crowd and came up to him. It was his father, Jim Redmond. Jim Redmond ran down from the stands, eluded officials and helped his son across the finish line. The two shared an emotional moment, with Derek Redmond in tears as they finished the race together.

The Olympic Games released a statement via Twitter, calling it one of the “most inspirational moments in Olympic history.”

“Our thoughts are with Derek Redmond and his family following the death of his father, Jim,” the statement reads. “Together, they brought us one of the most inspirational moments in Olympic history.”

Derek Redmond Explains Inspirational Moment With Father Jim Redmond

Leading up to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Derek Redmond described the moment in an interview with NBC Olympics.

“As I turned into the home straight, I could sense this person was about to try and stop me,” Derek Redmond said. “I was just about to get ready to sort of fend them off, and then I heard a familiar voice of my dad. He said, ‘Derek, it’s me. You don’t need to do this.’”

Injury be damned, he was finishing the race no matter what.

“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 Redmond said. “I’m just sort of saying, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.’”

Jim Redmond told Sports Illustrated that summer that he was simply there to help his son.

“I did what animals do, what humans do; it’s instinctive,” Jim Redmond said. “Everyone does it. It just so happens that most people think about doing it, but I actually went on there to help.”