You cannot fail… If you don’t give up — Lessons from Derek Redmond Olympics race

Adebola Alabi
3 min readDec 2, 2017

Life lesson from Derek Redmond 1992 Olympics

I recently had another opportunity to watch the 1992 Men’s Summer Olympic 400-meter sprint that took place in Barcelona, Spain. At the end of the clip, I got teary eyed just like the last time that I watched the video. This event reinforced in me the fact that if we don’t give up on our goals in life, we will eventually prevail. I got a new perspective this time around that we all have someone, just like Derek’s Dad that is ready to hold our hands and help us to rise again when we fall in the race of life.

Derek Redmond was favored to win the race, he has everything going for him. Everyone expected him to come out shinning, but as fate would have it, in just about 150 meters into the race, he had a torn hamstring. He suffered an excruciating pain that made it almost impossible for him to go on with the race. Many people, in such a situation, will give up and stop because of the pain, but not Derek. He persevered and he kept limping along. He was there to run the race, and he was not about to let some pain stopped him without achieving his goal. His father who was watching from the sideline suddenly broke through the security to come to his son’s aid and help him to complete the race. He provided a shoulder for Derek to lean on so that the race would be a little easier.

Here are 3 lessons to be learned from this event:

  1. You shouldn’t Give up: When Derek tore his harm string during the race, he had two options. He could stop, lie down and cry, or he could limp along just like he did. If he had stopped, no one would blame him because the kind of injury that he suffered is known to be very painful. The same analogy can be applied to all of us in real life. When life throw curve balls at us, when we face opposition to our goals. Do we just give up and stop trying? Be a winner like Derek, don’t give up even when you are confronted with challenges, keep pushing, keep moving forward, and soon you will be able to overcome your obstacle.
  2. There are helpers around you: As Derek pressed on with his race, his Dad showed up out of nowhere. If he had stopped in his track, he will only have sympathizers around him, and they will probably have wheeled him out on stretcher. He pressed forward and as a result he had a helper showed up to support and encourage him to finish the race. In the same way, when you are on a mission to complete a task, and if you encounter challenges, helpers will spring forth around you to motivate and support you if you don’t give up.
  3. Your efforts matter: Derek was able to make it to the finish line and he received standing ovation from the spectators on the field. It is funny that not many people could remember the actual winner of the race, but the person that became the hero was the one man that came last. What an irony! Sometimes, when things don’t go as we planned, it should come as a relief that God sees our efforts, and in due time he will reward all our efforts in due time. You cannot fail if you don’t give up.

In conclusion, challenges will always be on the way to every worthwhile ambition. Do not give up when you encounter an obstacle on your path, rather you should persevere, strategize along the way, keep your hope up and alive, maintain your faith in God, and you will become a winner. Keep winning!

Originally published at on December 2, 2017.



Adebola Alabi

A Certified Financial Education Instructor. Mission is to help bring out the best in others. Thanks for reading my work. Check my website