News

Olympic champ with an inspirational story

21 February 2017

Olympian Derek Redmond Visits Kew Green!

 

Upper School were very lucky to have a special guest visitor to assembly this week, ex-Olympic athlete Derek Redmond. Having won European and World titles at 400 metres, the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 was his chance to seal his career with Olympic gold. Unfortunately, tragedy struck on the back straight of the semi-final race when he tore his hamstring, leaving him doubled up in agony on the floor. 

 

After years of training, Derek wanted to finish the race, so he returned to his feet and began hobbling around the track. As he reached the finishing straight, his father ran down from the crowd and helped Derek through the final 100 metres, in what became one of the most iconic and enduring images of the Olympics.

 

Derek explained to the children about his feelings at the time and how he was determined not to be beaten by the Olympics, having been struck by injury four years earlier as well. His attitude, positivity and will to succeed definitely rubbed off on the children.

 

Eli Crossley in Year 5 was already aware of Derek’s story and kicked off the question and answer session with 5 questions he’d thoughtfully prepared in advance. It was a fascinating assembly and the children were privileged to meet such a successful professional athlete, who perhaps has learnt the most from one of the races he didn’t win in his life, but one that showed what true sporting and Olympic spirit is all about.

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