Legendary American high jumper Dick Fosbury has died, aged 76.
Fosbury, who won gold at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, is credited with revolutionising the event after developing his own unique technique in clearing the bar.
“The Track & Field legend is survived by his wife Robin Tomasi, and son Erich Fosbury, and stepdaughters Stephanie Thomas-Phipps of Hailey, Idaho, and Kristin Thompson.
He added: “Dick will be greatly missed by friends and fans from around the world. A true legend, and friend of all!
“Rest In Peace Dick”.
Fosbury’s name is forever enshrined in sporting history after inventing the high jump move which went on to be christened the ‘Fosbury Flop’.
Having taken up the event as a teenager, Fosbury rejected the more traditional ‘straddle method’ of the time, with his own technique involving leaping backwards, head-first and arching his body to get over the bar.
At the 1968 Games, Fosbury, armed with his special jump, secured gold with a jump of 2.24 metres, an Olympic record at the time.
The jump is now the preferred method of the vast majority of high jumpers.
In 1981, Fosbury was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of fame and a statue of Fosbury performing the ‘flop’ was unveiled at his alma mater Oregon State University in 2018.
He was initially diagnosed with lymphoma in 2008.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Dick Fosbury, a true legend and pioneer in the world of track and field,” said Max Siegel, CEO of USA Track and Field governing body, USATF.
“Dick’s innovative technique of the ‘Fosbury Flop’ revolutionised the high jump event and forever changed the sport. His gold medal victory at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics not only cemented his place in U.S. Olympic history, but also left an indelible mark on the global athletic community.
“We will always be grateful for his contributions to the sport and his impact on generations of athletes who followed in his footsteps. Dick will be deeply missed but his legacy will live on as an inspiration to all.”
Read the full article here