Celebrating last-place finishes at the Olympics. Because they're there, and you're not.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Visa's Derek Redmond Ad

American readers may have seen Visa's television featuring Derek Redmond's injury during the 1992 Olympics, where his father helped him limp across the finish line. (If you haven't, it's available on Visa's Go World site, though you'll have to dig a bit to find it.) It's heartening to see this blog's argument about finishing last ("better DFL than DNF") expressed in a nationally broadcast ad with a Morgan Freeman voiceover. "He -- and his father -- finished dead last. But he -- and his father -- finished."

A search for Derek Redmond on YouTube also generates some interesting results.

Previously: Derek Redmond in 1992.

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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Pyambu Tuul in 1992

In 1992 I remember reading a story about the last-place finisher in the Barcelona marathon that completely blew me away. I'm indebted to Robert Pera for finding an online account of the story of Mongolian runner Pyambu Tuul. It's quite possibly the most extraordinary last-place story I've ever heard.
At a press conference Tuul answered quietly and calmly. Through an interpreter he said, "No, my time was not slow, after all you could call my run a Mongolian Olympic marathon record." That was an excellent reply I thought.

He carried on. "And as for it being the greatest day of my life, no it isn't."

The reporters craned forward with their notebooks at the ready. Tuul said, "Up till six months ago I had no sight at all. I was a totally blind person. When I trained it was only with the aid of friends who ran with me. But a group of doctors came to my country last year to do humanitarian medical work. One doctor took a look at my eyes and asked me questions. I told him I had been unable to see since childhood. He said 'But I can fix your sight with a simple operation'. So he did the operation on me and after 20 years I could see again. So today wasn't the greatest day of my life. The best day was when I got my sight back and I saw my wife and two daughters for the first time. And they are beautiful."
Page down past the stuff about the swimmers to read this story in full.

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Sunday, August 15, 2004

Derek Redmond in 1992

Most last-place finishes lack the obvious drama or poignancy of Derek Redmond's last-place finish in his 400-metre heat at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where his father helped him finish the race.

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