I’m not trying to push the fact that you should be following Olympic athletes on Twitter, but we’ve got some athlete Twit pics today, courtesy of the Telegraph, and I think they’re an interesting, behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on while the athletes prepare for the Games. There’s also a cool, interactive venue map to play with too. But most importantly, let’s get our schedules down pat before Friday, please. If nothing, I want you all prepared. BTW, London is 5 hours ahead of us New Yorkers. Set those DVRs.
And if you’re truly die-hard, there are some preliminary soccer rounds Wednesday and Thursday, as well as archery ranking rounds on Friday prior to the Opening Ceremonies. We can look at these as warm-ups for us. And by warm-ups, I mean practicing how quickly we can uncork some wine or pop open a beer can. Practice? We talking about practice?
Practice, my friends, make perfect.
Number 3 on our list, Derek Redmond and Derek Redmond’s father:
So we’ve made it to the Top 3! I should mention that I’ve been watching a lot of the show Parenthood lately, and it may or may not be influencing today’s great moment. But either way, it’s still amazing, and still worthy of one of our top spots!
At the 1992 Games in Barcelona, runner Derek Redmond was competing for Great Britain and hoping to secure a place on the podium in the 400 meter race. What he got was an Olympic moment frozen in history.
About halfway through Redmond’s semi-final race, his hamstring snapped, sending him to the ground writhing in pain. As his competitors passed him in a fight to the finish line, Redmond laid on the track, his Olympic medal dreams getting further away from him with every passing second. He was not going to be able to win this race and compete in the final. He was not going to run again in this Olympics. But eventually, Redmond decided he was going to get up, and he was going to try. Finish or not, he wasn’t going to end these Games laying down.
As the announcers warn their audience that Redmond shouldn’t be hopping toward the finish line, that his injury was serious and he should be carted off, a figure comes running onto the track from the stands. He was initially held off by guards, but eventually gave notice of who he was – Redmond’s father, here to run the last leg of this race with his son.
As they cross the finish line, Redmond begins to break down in tears. Tears from both the pain of losing and the physical pain rushing through his body. But the first person there holding him up, the first person there lending him a shoulder to cry on, is his father. So, as Morgan Freeman so gracefully puts in the in clip above:
Derek Redmond didn’t finish in first place in the 1992 400 meter. He didn’t finish in second. Or third. Or fourth. He, and his father, finished dead last. But he, and his father, finished.