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Luptă până la capăt!

 

In 1992, la Jocurile Olimpice de la Barcelona, favoritul pentru medalia de aur in proba de 400m era Derek Redmond. Cu un an mai devreme castigase medalia de aur la Campionatele Mondiale de la Tokio in proba de 4x400m cu echipa Angliei si era intr-o forma de zile mari.

La JO s-a calificat in semifinala dupa ce avusese cel mai bun timp in sferturile de finala. Parea ca nimic nu poate sa ii rapeasca victoria. Cu toate acestea nimeni nu banuia ce urma sa se intample.

Semifinala a inceput cu Derek pornind ca din pusca si alergand  excelent. 50m, 100m, 150m erau inghititi sub fuleul entuziasmant al lui Redmond.

derek-redmond-si-com-pm

        Cand… cu 250m inainte de linia de sosire Derek Redmond se prabuseste pe pista, secerat de durere. Tocmai avusese o intindere la bicepsul femural care i-a retezat toate sansele de a mai continua cursa, daramite de a castiga si de a se califica in finala.

In timp ce ceilalti atleti se apropie de finalul cursei, Derek Redmond agonizeaza pe mijlocul pistei. Deodata, se ridica in picioare, refuza ajutorul stewarzilor care doreau sa il ajute sa iasa pe margine si schiopatand se hotaraste sa termine cursa.

Parcurge singur cateva zeci de metri schiopatand, cu grimase de durere pe fata….cand din public…reusind sa evite cordoanele de securitate, un barbat se indreapta in fuga spre Derek.

Intreg Stadionul, 65.000 de oameni asista la o scena incredibila.

Derek Redmond plange de durere in timp ce isi capul pe umarul celui care i-a venit in ajutor. Impreuna se apropie de linia de sosire in ovatiile oamenilor care s-au ridicat in picioare. Cu cativa metri inainte de sosire, barbatul necunoscut il lasa pe Derek sa treaca singur linia si sa termine cursa ca un adevarat invingator.

In acea zi, comitetul de organizare a cursei de 400m a trecut in dreptul lui Derek Redmond: “Abandon”, pentru ca a fost ajutat de cineva. Pentru toti care au asistat la acea scena incredibila Derek a fost adevaratul invingator.

Barbatul necunoscut care a intrat pe pista… era tatal lui Derek.

 

It was the summer Olympics of 1992. It was the quarter finals of the 400 meter sprint. British athlete Derek Redmond was one of the favorites for the gold medal. A lifetime of training had brought him to this moment. The starters gun fired and the athletes burst out of the blocks.

Halfway through the race Derek Redmond was leading. Then disaster struck. His hamstring went and he collapsed on the track. The agony on his tear streaked face was both physical and mental. It was a crushing blow.

Medical attendants ran to assist him. Derek waved them away. He came to race and he was going to finish. He got to his feet and started hobbling down the track.

The crowd was mesmerized. Officials didn’t know what to do. And then an older man ran onto the track. He brushed off officials who tried to stop him. He ran up beside Derek and placed his arms around him.

The man was Derek Redmond’s father, Jim.

“You don’t have to do this son” Jim said.

“Yes I do” Derek replied.

“Then we’ll finish this race together” came the response from Derek’s father.

Arm in arm, with agony on Derek’s face, tears on his father’s, Derek and Jim continued down the track. Derek buried his face in his father’s shoulder. His father’s strong shoulders carried his son physically and emotionally. Jim waved away officials who tried to stop them.

Finally, accompanied by a now roaring crowd, standing on their feet and applauding, Derek Redmond crossed the line. It became the defining moment of the Barcelona Olympics.

Luptă până la capăt!
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