Dick Fosbury Passes Away at the Age of 76

Dick Fosbury, the legendary American high jumper, who changed the game of high jump forever with his unconventional technique, passed away at the age of 76. Fosbury was a gold medalist in high jump at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, where he stunned the world with his revolutionary style, known as the Fosbury Flop.

The Birth of the Fosbury Flop

The Fosbury Flop was not an overnight success; it was the result of years of experimentation and practice. Fosbury started his athletic career using the traditional straddle technique, but he soon realized that it wasn’t effective enough to get him the results he wanted. During a high school meet in 1963, Fosbury decided to ditch the straddle and try the scissor technique, which was not very popular at that time. The scissor technique involved jumping over the bar with one leg leading and the other following.


However, Fosbury didn’t stop at the scissor technique; he added his own unique twist to it. Instead of going forward over the bar, he leaned back and jumped backwards over the bar, head first. It was a move that had never been seen before, and the crowd was stunned. Fosbury scored two personal bests that day, and the Fosbury Flop was born.


The Dominance of the Fosbury Flop


It took some time for the Fosbury Flop to gain acceptance in the world of high jump. Coaches and athletes were skeptical of the new technique, and many thought it was dangerous. But Fosbury kept at it, and by the time he reached college, he had perfected the technique. In 1968, Fosbury was selected for the US Olympic team and headed to Mexico City.


The Olympics was the perfect stage for Fosbury to showcase his technique to the world. He was up against some of the best high jumpers of the time, but he was confident that his technique would give him an edge. Fosbury’s opponents tried to imitate his style, but they failed miserably. Fosbury won the gold medal with a jump of 2.24 meters, which was a new Olympic record.


The Legacy of Dick Fosbury


After the Olympics, the Fosbury Flop became the most widely used technique across the world. It was adopted by high jumpers of all ages and skill levels, and it remains the dominant technique to this day. Fosbury’s innovation changed the game of high jump forever, and it earned him a place in the Olympic Hall of Fame.


Fosbury’s legacy extends beyond the world of athletics. His innovative thinking and willingness to take risks are an inspiration to people in all walks of life. He proved that sometimes the unconventional path is the one that leads to success.



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