High jump revolutionary Dick Fosbury has died at the age of 76

Dick Fosbury, who revolutionized the high jump with his innovative backwards style that became known as the “Fosbury Flop,” has died at the age of 76.

Fosbury’s agent Ray Schulte wrote on his social media account: “It is with a heavy heart that I release the news that longtime friend and client Dick Fosbury passed away peacefully in his sleep early Sunday morning after a brief bout of renewed lymphoma.”

Fosbury used his new technique to win the gold medal at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, setting a new games record of 2.24 meters in the process and paving the way for universal adoption of the style by future generations at the event.

Born in Portland in 1947, Fosbury began experimenting with his new style while on the Oregon State track team, despite initial opposition from his coaching staff.

It proved successful enough to win the NCAA championship and earn Fosbury a spot on the US Olympic team, which took him to Mexico where he continued to shock his critics by showing all his highs in the first on the competition’s opening day attempt overcame.

The following day, 21-year-old Fosbury failed his first two attempts by a 2.24, but sailed clean on his third and final jump, ushering in a new era for his sport and suggesting he could continue to challenge for the world record.

In fact, Fosbury would never again jump as high as he did in Mexico City. He failed to qualify to defend his crown at the 1972 Olympics, but his legacy was intact with well over half of the 40 high jump competitors by then using his signature style.

After his retirement, Fosbury had a short career in politics. In 2008, he announced he had been diagnosed with stage one lymphoma, but said in an interview six years later that he was in remission and free of the disease.

Fosbury is survived by his wife Robin Tomasi, son Erich and stepdaughters Stephanie Thomas-Phipps and Kristin Thompson.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/mexico-city-portland-ncaa-b2300065.html High jump revolutionary Dick Fosbury has died at the age of 76


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