Jeff Henderson shares promised gold medal with ailing mother (pic)
Jeff Henderson by the narrowest of margins won the gold medal in the long jump last Saturday at the Rio Olympics, making a good on a promise to his mother, who is battling Alzheimer’s.
Henderson returned home to McAlmont, Ark., earlier this week and in a touching moment, was able to share his gold medal with his mother during a visit to his boyhood home.
It was an emotional moment as @Jeffery_henders sees his mom for the 1st time, bringing gold home for her. #ARnews pic.twitter.com/Y7oBrnP1ot
— Isabella Moller (@imollertv) August 17, 2016
“I want to put the medal on your head but I don’t want to hurt you,” Henderson told his mother on Wednesday while setting it on her bed, via arkansasmatters.com.
Henderson, 27, beat the silver medal-winner, South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga, by a mere .01 meters with a jump of 8.38 meters. But all that matters is he made good on his promise to bring home a gold medal for his mother.
“The medal is just for her,” he said, via 11alive.com. “She got sick when I was 17, 18 years old. It was hard for me to do that, and leave her there. Everything I did was for her. It was for God, for her and my family.”
Henderson knew well beforehand that it would be a bittersweet moment delivering the promised gold medal to his mom.
“My mom can’t be here, she has ALZ. When I place that #gold in her hands, I’ll be crying.” Olympian @Jeffery_henders had won our s. #ENDALZ
— Alzheimer’s Assoc. (@alzassociation) August 16, 2016
It’s obviously been a whirlwind of a week for Henderson, during which he’s gone through an unbelievable range of emotions. But shortly after winning gold, he already was setting a new goal. And of course, it involved his beloved mother.
Next on my list is to give my dad what he wanted all along . A brand new house for him and my mom
— Jeff Henderson (@Jeffery_henders) August 14, 2016