Derek Redmond is one of the world’s most inspirational athletes turned motivational speakers.
It all began at the tender age of seven when he joined Milton Keynes Athletics Club. A youngster with an interest and talent for running, he soon rose in prominence, becoming county champion and 400m sprint record holder.
By the late 1980s and early 90s he had established himself as one of Britain’s leading athletic stars, winning a host of 400m individual and relay gold medals for Great Britain at World, Commonwealth, European and British levels.
Yet it was his now iconic moment at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona which sealed his place in the history books forever.
A favourite for the gold, Redmond was just 150metres into the 400m Semi-Final when his hamstring snapped and he fell to the ground. Staggering to his feet through the excruciating pain he knew it was all over, but he was determined to finish the race.
He began to hobble on in agony while his father, Jim, broke through security and ran onto the track to help him complete the final 250 metres to the finish line.
The emotional and inspirational footage continues to be seen the world over some 21 years on, and was featured in a TV commercial for Visa Go World, the official sponsors of the 2008 Olympics.
Derek was even mentioned by US president Barack Obama during his speech about the Olympic spirit.
His athletic career may now be in the past, but the pride, passion and sheer determination of a man who refused to give up on a race he knew he had already lost have made him one of the world’s most popular and most sought-after public and motivational speakers.
Since retiring from athletics, Derek has played basketball for England and professionally for the Birmingham Bullets and has played competitive rugby union for Coventry RFC and Stow RFC. He is also a respected coach and advisor for international athletes.
I would like to say a personal thank you for the two excellent motivational speeches you delivered yesterday. We have had nothing but positive feedback. Everyone found it uplifting and will energise them all to think differently, and work better together”
“We were absolutely bowled over by Derek – his talk was relevant and entertaining, and his delivery was friendly and funny. He joined us for lunch and was an absolute delight to spend time with.”