Death of Dick Fosbury, American athlete who revolutionized the high jump

Former American athlete Dick Fosbury, Olympic champion in 1968, who revolutionized the high jump with a technique that became a school and now bears his name, died on Sunday March 12 at the age of 76, his agent announced on Monday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that longtime friend and client Dick Fosbury passed away peacefully in his sleep early Sunday morning after a brief recurrence of lymphoma”wrote on Instagram Ray Schulte. “The track and field legend is survived by his wife Robin Tomasi, son Erich Fosbury and daughters-in-law Stephanie Thomas-Phipps of Hailey, Idaho, and Kristin Thompson. The family is preparing a “celebration of life” which will take place in the coming months”he added.

Fosbury made track and field history with his famous “flopping”. A dorsal jump technique, when all the other athletes used those of the belly roll or the scissor.


It was in 1968 that the world discovered this strange bird hovering in the sky of Mexico City where the Games were held. His jump to 2.24 m, an Olympic record as a bonus, brought him gold and the posterity of a discipline of which he will forever remain the great revolutionary.

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Because if a few years earlier, he aroused many criticisms, doubts and even mockery on his way to Olympus, in an America where coaches and observers predicted him a broken neck rather than supporting a medal, his legacy remains palpable more fifty years later.

“I didn’t know anyone else in the world could use (this technique) and I never imagined that it would revolutionize the discipline”confided the man who failed to qualify for the Munich Games, after having had to put his sports career on hold for his studies in civil engineering.


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