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Finish Strong with Olympian Derek Redmond (ep. 542)

Derek Redmond

John O’Leary welcomes Olympic athlete Derek Redmond to the Live Inspired Podcast to share how to never give up and finish strong.

Derek Redmond has arguably become the most famous Olympian to ever finish last in an Olympic race.

At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Derek was amongst the favorites in the 400m semi-final. As he passed the 250m mark, the unthinkable happened: he tore his hamstring. Grabbing his leg and hobbling forward, Derek ultimately fell onto the track in agony.

Determined to finish the race, he began to stumble towards the finish line, but not without the help of his father. Jim Redmond jumped over the stadium railing, dodged Olympic security, and raced to his son’s aid. With an in-person crowd of 65,000, this race became synonymous with one of the most inspirational moments in sports.

Join us as Derek details the tumultuous journey that led to the iconic moment at the 1992 Olympics as well as the lessons he’s learned in perseverance, teamwork and self-belief.

This conversation will leave you inspired you to never give up and to finish strong.

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  • Derek’s father Jim was adamant that if he was going to partake in an activity, that he was to give 100%.
  • What do you have to lose besides another race? Derek’s first 400m competition was by happenstance yet he not only won the race but broke an area age group record.
  • Derek describes the 400m as a “controlled sprint” that’s based on correct pacing and battling the natural build up of lactic acid.
  • When faced with a seemingly daunting task, Derek encourages us to break it down into small, controllable chunks.
  • By looking back at your progress, you can find the momentum, energy, enthusiasm and zest to continue towards your goal.
  • Watch Derek’s 1992 Olympic 400m semi-finals in Barcelona here.

Did you enjoy hearing how powerful the support of a parent can be?

You’ll love my conversation with Mary Marantz. From a family of loggers in rural West Virgina, Mary shares what it was like to grow up in a deteriorating, single-wide trailer and, more importantly, with a father who would sacrifice it all to ensure she had a bright future. Listen to Mary’s incredible story on Live Inspired Podcast ep. 288


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  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. Because of my dyslexia, I don't read a lot of books. I read one by Carl Lewis I enjoyed and lots of articles about Michael Jordan. Film-wise I loved Remember the Titans.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Innocence.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. Something that would epitomize the memory of my dad.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Jeff Bezos.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. Whatever you are looking to achieve, first believe you can achieve it.
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Give yourself patience and don't beat yourself up if it doesn't happen as fast as you thought it would happen.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. A guy that never ever gave up.