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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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Dick Fosbury - High jump men - Athletics

Most sports evolve over a long period of time. Rules are changed, patterns of play alter, techniques are adjusted. Only rarely does a sport take a great leap forward at one point. But in Mexico, the world of high jumping changed for ever. And for that, we can thank the American Dick Fosbury, the man who revolutionised his sport by introducing a new style to the world – the Fosbury Flop.

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The Fosbury Flop

America's Richard Fosbury wins the gold medal in the high jump at the Mexico City Olympics, reaching a height of 7 feet 4 1/4 inches, 23rd October 1968. His revolutionary style of jumping backwards, known as the 'Fosbury Flop', soon became the standard technique. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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Mexico 1968 Athletics High jump men

Dich Fosbury's technique truly changed the sport at the 1968 Mexico City Games. Despite scepticism from judges and coaches, Fosbury cleared every height up to 2.22 metres without a miss and then achieved a personal record of 2.24 metres to win the gold medal.
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Mexico 1968-FOSBURY Richard Douglas "Dick" (USA) 1st.
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Mexico 1968-FOSBURY Richard Douglas "Dick" (USA) 1st.
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Mexico 1968-FOSBURY Richard "Dick" (USA) 1st.

Results

  • Games
    Result
    Sport
    Event
  • G 2.24
    Athletics
    high jump men

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