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FOSBURY Richard Douglas
FOSBURY Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas "Dick" FOSBURY

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Dick Fosbury revolutionised the high jump

The 1968 Mexico City Olympics marked the international debut of Dick Fosbury and his celebrated "Fosbury flop," which would soon revolutionize high-jumping.

At the time, jumpers took off from their inside foot and swung their outside foot up and over the bar. Fosbury's technique began by racing up to the bar at great speed and taking off from his right (or outside) foot.

The he twisted his body so that he went over the bar head first with his back to the bar. While the coaches of the world shook their heads in disbelief, the Mexico City audience was absolutely captivated by Fosbury and shouted, "Olé" as he cleared the bar.

Fosbury cleared every height through 2.22 metres without a miss and then achieved a personal record of 2.24 metres to win the gold medal.

By 1980, 13 of the 16 Olympic finalists were using the Fosbury flop. It has since been shown that, unbeknownst to Fosbury, the first person to use the flop technique was actually a jumper from Montana named Bruce Quande, who was photographed flopping over a bar in 1963.

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