Friday, June 21Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Nostalgia, Sport, and Parental love- the raw emotion of nostalgia

Nostalgia is such a personal overwhelming experience. A yearning to experience what is no longer obtainable. For many, sports evoke a strong sense of nostalgia. Whether that be for the better or for the worse. However, it remains to be said that sport has its own unique way of conjuring up memories and emotions that just can’t stop you from smiling. 

Why is that? 

Usually, it’s a sense of carefree fun or high moments of success and happiness. Perhaps more unusually, it’s the embodying of emotions, which a lot of the time we do not feel anymore or don’t get to enjoy. That’s why that feeling of nostalgia hits so hard. A time when things just felt right in life. Pure. 

And, if you dig a little deeper into that emotion, you realise that the background feeling of parental love shines through. Think back to a nostalgic sporting memory. Whether that be an individual sporting event or team sport. Look past the comradery between mates and personal high. You’ll remember a time when you felt most loved and supported. A window in time that laid down a key memory and connection between you and your guardian. That there is special. It evokes such nostalgia because of how raw and deep the emotions flow. A pillar memory that has shaped you. 

Shaping, supporting, loving. That is what parents strive to do. Even if we don’t always see it. Love is not bound to dimensions, as it is powerful beyond physical barriers. It is why parental love is so untouchable in sport. 

1992, 400m semi-final. Man on a mission, Derek Redmond, is about to start his last hurdle before having a chance for Olympic glory. He wants it badly. Missing out on the previous Olympics left a sour taste in the mouth but with an extra four years of hard work, he was bound to show the world what he can do. 

Bang!

The gun fires, full steam ahead. Got to make it to the front to be in contention for the final. 

Camera is zooming along with the runners when one seems to have gone missing. Is that….is that Derek?

Fallen to the ground, anguishing in pain. You could see him fighting his demons, building the will to finish what he had started. 

Like a fighting flea, he bounces up and continues. Not allowing his dream to end like this. A dream which someone else shares and has nurtured to become a reality. This person being his father. Jim Redmond. 

He knew what to do, without question. He barged through the barriers, through the security. His love showing no bounds, the torch that is love coming to bring light to the end of the tunnel. He embraces his son, the warmest of touches being enough to comfort his son to the submission of his emotions. 

No sporting sight is more touching than that of father and son finishing the Olympics together. 

That right there is parental love and the power it holds to bring a person to their rawest of emotions. Nostalgia is the gateway to that emotion. Parental love is special and unconditional. It is why the strongest nostalgia holds the deepest of love.