Excessive bounce pioneer, icon and 1968 Olympic champion Dick Fosbury dies at 76
Olympic excessive bounce champion Dick Fosbury, who revolutionized the occasion with a radically totally different leaping approach that was finally named after him, died on Sunday aged 76, his agent Ray Schulte mentioned on Monday.
Fosbury gained gold for the U.S. within the excessive bounce on the 1968 Olympic Video games in Mexico Metropolis, the place the six-foot-four athlete jumped again first to clear the bar, a way that has since been named the “Fosbury Flop” and utilized by all excessive jumpers at this time.
“It’s with a heavy coronary heart that I need to announce that longtime good friend and shopper Dick Fosbury handed away peacefully in his sleep early Sunday morning after a quick recurrence of lymphoma,” Schulte wrote on Instagram.
The lanky leaper died Sunday after a recurrence with lymphoma.
Earlier than Fosbury, excessive jumpers cleared their peak by operating parallel to bar, then leaping over with a scissors kick, with their faces pointed downward.
Fosbury cleared 2.24 metres to set an Olympic report. By the subsequent Olympics, 28 of the 40 jumpers have been utilizing Fosbury’s approach.
Fosbury began tinkering with the brand new approach as a young person at Medford Excessive Faculty in Oregon. Amongst his discoveries through the years was a necessity to maneuver his takeoff level farther again for larger jumps. Most jumpers planted a foot and took off on the identical spot whatever the peak.
Fosbury’s approach took some time to catch on. The time period “Fosbury Flop” is credited to the Medford Mail-Tribune, which wrote the headline “Fosbury Flops Over the Bar” after one in all his highschool meets. The reporter that day wrote Fosbury seemed like a fish flopping in a ship.
‘Modified complete occasion ceaselessly’
“The world legend might be used too usually,” dash nice Michael Johnson tweeted. “Dick Fosbury was a real LEGEND! He modified a whole occasion ceaselessly with a way that seemed loopy on the time, however the consequence made it the usual.”
“Yesterday, one of the well-known figures within the excessive bounce handed away,” mentioned Amelie Oudea-Castera, France’s Minister of Sports activities and the Olympic and Paralympic Video games.
“Dick Fosbury had revolutionized the apply of this sport together with his elegant audacity. Ideas to his family members.”
Fosbury’s gold and his contribution to the game additionally earned him a spot within the Nationwide Monitor and Subject Corridor of Fame.
Fosbury began tinkering with a brand new approach within the early ’60s, as a young person at Medford Excessive Faculty in Oregon. Amongst his discoveries was a necessity to maneuver his takeoff level farther again for larger jumps, so he may change the apex of the parabola form of his bounce to clear the bar. Most conventional jumpers of that day planted a foot and took off from the identical spot whatever the peak they have been trying.
“I knew I needed to change my physique place, and that is what began first the revolution, and over the subsequent two years, the evolution,” Fosbury mentioned in a 2014 interview with The Corvallis Gazette-Occasions. “Throughout my junior 12 months, I carried on with this new approach, and every meet I continued to evolve or change, however I used to be bettering. My outcomes have been getting higher.”
The approach was the topic of scorn and mock in some corners. The time period Fosbury Flop is credited to the Medford Mail-Tribune, which wrote the headline “Fosbury Flops Over the Bar” after one in all his highschool meets. The reporter wrote that Fosbury seemed like a fish flopping in a ship.
Fosbury preferred “Fosbury Flop.”
“It is poetic. It is alliterative. It is a battle,” he as soon as mentioned.
In a chapter in his guide in regards to the Mexico Metropolis Video games, journalist Richard Hoffer wrote that Fosbury as soon as obtained a letter from an LA medical director suggesting his approach would result in “a rash of damaged necks.”
“For the nice of younger People, it is best to cease this ridiculous assault on the bar,” the letter mentioned.
As a child, Fosbury threw himself into sports activities as a manner of coping with the grief after his youthful brother, Greg, was killed by a drunken driver whereas the 2 boys have been driving bikes. Unable to stay with the soccer or basketball groups, Fosbury tried observe however struggled there with the popular bounce of these days — the straddle.
“He simply seemed on the factor in a different way, and it actually labored,” mentioned Eric Hintz of the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Heart for the Research of Invention and Innovation. “And he had the center and fortitude to keep it up within the face of criticism.”
He’s survived by his spouse Robin Tomasi, son Erich Fosbury and stepdaughters Stephanie Thomas-Phipps and Kristin Thompson.”