In the summer of 1992 Derek Redmond’s tragedy turned into triumph at the Barcelona Olympic games. Derek was determined to win a gold medal in the open 400. In the previous Olympic games, in 1988, he was forced out of competition due to an achilles injury. He had spent the last four years preparing to win gold in Barcelona.
Now was his time.
Derek had the lead heading into the backstretch when all of a sudden he heard a pop, and felt his leg go. He had just torn his hamstring and fell to the ground in pain. Determined to finish the race, Derek got up, refused medical attention, and began to hobble down the track.
Derek’s dad Jim was in the stands, as usual, cheering him on when he saw the injury occur. As soon as he realized his son was hurt, Jim raced down the stands, jumped the fence, avoided the security guards, and ran to his son on the track. Upon reaching his son, Jim said, “I’m here, son. We’ll finish this together.”
Moments after the race, Jim Redmond said, “I’m the proudest father alive.”
This is one of the most memorable scenes in all of olympic game history. (click here to view)
It’s a shining example of what great fatherhood looks like. Just as we see too much fear and negativity in our news and politics, it seems as if we only hear stories about bad dads. But we all know there are so many great fathers out there. Men who truly love their children. There’s always been great dads out there, it’s just our culture has never celebrated them as they should be.
Last week, I took my two young boys (five and two) to my cousin’s neighborhood pool. It was a blast. For a while we were the only ones there. Later another dad showed up with two kids as well. He had one daughter and son. He said his wife was out-of-town on business and they were going to swim before picking her up at the airport.
He was a great dad. He was engaged with his kids the entire time. He didn’t just sit in a chair while on his phone. He didn’t let them wander. He played with them. He threw them in the air, played boats, and threw water balls. They all laughed, smiled, and had a great time. And it made me happy. It also made me think that people like this guy need to be celebrated more. You all know men who are just like this dad.
So, let’s hear it for the dads. Let’s acknowledge the dads who:
Are present in the kids lives every day.
Make lunches, read stories, and tuck their little ones in.
Check them for ticks….seriously you know this has happened before!
Comfort them when they are hurt.
Check the monitor all night when they are sick.
Shoot hoops in the driveway.
Attempt to do their kid’s hair.
Cuddle and watch that movie for the one millionth time.
Have the patience to take them fishing.
Kiss their oochies and put on band-aids.
Get dunked 1,000 times at the pool.
Throw them in the air until your back hurts.
Protect them from the seriously scary world.
Have tea and princess parties.
Listen to “let it go” again and sing along.
Dont mind being a human punching bag.
Hug and Kiss them everyday.
Who tell them everyday that you love them, your proud of them.
How about our dads…the grandpas:
Who to teach us to build and grow things.
Who have laps that always seem to be the most comfortable place in the world.
That come over at the drop of the hat to help fix things or finish projects.
Who never hesitate to take their grandkids just to give us a second to breathe.
That tell stories of us when we little and always know the right thing to say.
Who instill values and morals that you aren’t even wise enough to posses yet.
Who spoil them every chance they get.
That love your children as unconditionally as they do you.
Let’s hear it for the dads who spend more time at home than out with the guys. Who are home more than on the golf course, softball field, or at the bar.
Let’s hear it for the men who realize their legacy is their children. So they invest all they have into their kids’ lives.
“A good father is a man who pours everything into being a dad.”
Share this and tag someone you know is an awesome dad!
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!
Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.