Jessie Saint-Marc does a Redmond

I just can’t stand having “DNF” written beside my name. Perhaps it was due to the strong impact of Derek Redmond’s memorable Olympic moment. Hence, I’ve admired certain elite athletes who strove to finish the race despite injury, a slow time notwithstanding. John Stephen Akhwari actually preceded Redmond in this category, when the former limped to the Marathon finish line dead last despite dislocating his knee.

Read: “Dorando Pietri, Derek Redmond and the Olympic Ideal”

In less dramatic circumstances, a hamstrung Shinji Takahira 高平 慎士 fought on at the Athens Olympics 200m preliminaries. David Alerte walked the remainder of the  Barcelona European Championships 200m final, after pulling his hamstring midway into the race.

Most recently, France’s Jessie Saint-Marc limped and grimaced in the 100m dash final of the European U-23 Championships in Ostrava. The brave Frenchwoman stopped the clock at 32.85s, light-years away from her 11.49s personal best.

I am not sure if her courageous effort was met with cheers. Nevertheless, she’s a winner in my book.

“My country did not send me to 5,000 miles to Mexico City to start the race. They sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race.” – John Stephen Akhwari

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” – Pierre de Coubertin

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