Former British Olympic athlete Derek Redmond to speak in Dunmow

Derek Redmond

Derek Redmond - Credit: Archant

Derek Redmond, the Olympic athlete who twice broke the British 400 metre record, will be speaking at Dunmow Rotary Club’s annual sportsman’s dinner next month.

Derek, who is now a motivational speaker, is well known for triumphing over disaster after an incident at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

He had been tipped for gold in the 400m semi-final but in the course of the event, he injured his hamstring. Showing great spirit, he picked himself up and and finished the race.

He and his father, Jim, who had made it through security on to the track to help him, were cheered home euphorically by the Spanish crowd.

In 2012, this was voted the third greatest Olympic moment in history in a poll of viewers by the US broadcaster NBC. President Barack Obama described Derek’s perseverance as a prime example of the Olympic ideal.

Derek enjoyed a long and successful athletics career during the 1980s and 1990s which saw him challenge American dominance of the event. He was in the British 4 x 400 metre relay squad who took gold at the 1991 World Championships, the 1986 European Championships and the Commonwealth Games, the same year.

However, the injury at Barcelona was worse than first thought. After seven operations in two years, Derek was forced to retire from athletics.

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In a resolute response to his specialist saying that he would never represent his country again, Redmond went on to play basketball for England and just missed out on an England Rugby Sevens cap.

The Dunmow Rotary’s sportsman’s dinner is on Monday, April 11 at Foakes Hall, Dunmow, 7pm for 7.30pm.

Tickets are £42 for a four-course, silver service dinner plus coffee, and there will be a prestige raffle.

Dress is smart casual and tickets are available from Willie Fraser on 07713 710476 or email: Lipson Photography in Dunmow High Street will also be selling tickets.