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Dick Fosbury

From Academic Kids

Richard Douglas "Dick" Fosbury (born March 6, 1947) is an American athlete who revolutionised the high jump using a back-first technique, now known as the Fosbury flop. His method was to sprint diagonally towards the bar, then curve and leap backwards over the bar.

Dick Fosbury, born in Portland, Oregon, first started experimenting with this new technique at age 16, finding the variety of techniques used at the time - such as the "Eastern Cut Off", the "Straddle" and the "Scissors" - too complicated.

As a student at Oregon State University, he won the 1968 NCAA title using his new technique, as well as the US Olympic trials. At the 1968 Summer Olympics, which were held in Mexico City, he took the gold medal in a new Olympic Record, displaying the potential of the new technique.

Despite the initial sceptical reactions from the high jumping community, the new technique quickly gained popularity, and it is almost exclusively used by modern high jumpers.

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