If you missed it in ’92, Derek Redmond was going for gold in the 400 meter dash when he felt his hamstring pop and he fell to the ground. His Olympic goals were crushed as he watched all of his competitors cross the finish line ahead of him.
But he didn’t move to the sidelines.
He got up, stood on his good leg and started hopping forward with every intent to finish the race. His dad, in the stands, rushed down toward him and when paused by security he said “That’s my son and I’m going to help him.”
Together, father and son crossed the finish line.
There’s no reason to take away from the “Thanks, Mom” commercial that P&G is running. Of course, there are great moms behind great Olympians. Let’s just take a moment to recognize and celebrate the great dads, too.
Watch Canadian Olympians Talk about Their Dads
Do you know why Santo Condorelli gives his dad the finger before every race?
Love and support can be seen in some unexpected ways! Olympic swimmer, Santo Conorelli, gives his father the finger before every race. When Santo was just 8 years old, his dad, Joseph, started flipping Santo off at the start of each race. He wanted to give his son a shot of confidence as he faced off against intimidating competition. Young Santo flipped him off in return and a new Olympic ritual was born.
Then, there’s Teddy O’Donovan who boasts that “All my children become Olympians” as he celebrates having two sons competing together in Olympic rowing.
Like Father, Like Daughter
Michelle Carter took gold in Put Shot, an event that her father brought home silver for in ’84, making them the first father-daughter team to win medals in Olympic history.
Need some advice?
These Olympic dads might just have what you’re looking for.
- Olympic snowboarder, Louie Vito’s, father taught him “If you’re good enough, they can’t ignore you.”
- Judo Olympian, Jimmy Pedro, was taught by his dad “Anybody can be beaten on any given day. You just need to make up your mind that you are going to be the one that is going to beat them.”
- Then, there’s Mike Field, on the news team for Channel 3 in Las Vegas. He’s watching his son, Conner, prepare for his second Olympics from a unique vantage point—the news team. When asked what it’s like, he said “It was really good to see him, to give him a hug, and remind him that I love him for the man he is, not because he’s a gifted athlete.”
Have you met the 2032 Olympic Team?
There shouldn’t be a contest between thanking moms or thanking dads. It takes a village to raise an Olympian. Some moms do it on their own. Some dads do it on their own and some parents get to do it together.
Photo Credit: YouTube ScreenShot, edited