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Dick Fosbury, Olympic champion who modified excessive bounce endlessly, dies aged 76 | US sports activities

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The American Olympic champion Dick Fosbury, who revolutionised the excessive bounce with a method that grew to become often known as the Fosbury Flop, has died. He was 76.

His former agent, Ray Schulte, introduced the information on Instagram on Monday.

He wrote: “It’s with a really heavy coronary heart I’ve to launch the information that longtime good friend and consumer Dick Fosbury handed away peacefully in his sleep early Sunday morning after a brief bout with a recurrence of lymphoma.”

Fosbury shot to fame in 1968, when he gained high-jump gold in Mexico Metropolis after a remaining that lasted greater than 4 hours.

His technique, honed in faculty competitors in Oregon, concerned leaping backwards and arching his again over the bar, thereby reversing and ripping up a long time of high-jump orthodoxy. Within the span of simply 5 years, he had gone from struggling as a high-school athlete in his hometown, Medford, to successful worldwide fame.

In 2012, Fosbury advised the Guardian he “had a horrible time coping with all the eye” that adopted his Olympic triumph.

“It was an excessive amount of. I used to be a small-town child who did one thing approach past what I had ever anticipated to do. I preferred the eye, however I needed it to be over at a degree. It didn’t work that approach.”

He additionally mentioned he grew to become “mentally exhausted” as a result of “there was an excessive amount of consideration. Individuals put me on a pedestal and stored me there. I didn’t need to be on a pedestal. I obtained my medal and I needed to be again on the bottom with everybody else.”

Elsewhere, nevertheless, Fosbury mentioned the gold “modified my life. It introduced me presents, not essentially financial. I’ve met presidents and kings, seen the world and shared my life with fantastic individuals.”

Fosbury didn’t compete on the Olympics once more however his method swiftly got here to dominate his sport.

In his 2012 Guardian interview, he mentioned of the Fosbury Flop: “I suppose it did look form of bizarre at first nevertheless it felt so pure that, like all good concepts, you simply surprise why nobody had considered it earlier than me.”

For the Guardian, Simon Burnton wrote: “A few individuals have claimed that they did, most notably the Canadian future world No1 Debbie Brill, who was creating the ‘Brill Bend’ at across the identical time, and was videoed utilizing the method in 1966. ‘I used to be fairly shocked once I noticed Fosbury bounce the primary time,’ she mentioned. ‘I assumed I used to be the one one doing it.’”

In 2009, in a Guardian piece revealed 41 years to the day since his gold-medal win, Fosbury mentioned the Flop “obtained its identify earlier in 1968 when a journalist requested what my method was known as, and I borrowed the terminology my hometown newspaper had utilized in an image caption, which learn: ‘Fosbury flops over the bar’.

“It was alliterative, it was descriptive, and I preferred the contradiction – a flop that might be successful.”

Dick Fosbury, in Italy in 2021.
Dick Fosbury, in Italy in 2021. {Photograph}: Ettore Griffoni/LiveMedia/REX/Shutterstock

In his Instagram publish on Monday, Schulte wrote: “The monitor and discipline legend is survived by his spouse, Robin Tomasi, and son, Erich Fosbury, and stepdaughters Stephanie Thomas-Phipps … and Kristin Thompson.”

Schulte mentioned a celebration of Fosbury’s life was being deliberate, and added: “Dick will probably be vastly missed by pals and followers from all over the world. A real legend, and good friend of all!”

The four-time-Olympic champion sprinter Michael Johnson was amongst others to pay tribute.

“The world legend might be used too usually,” Johnson said. “Dick Fosbury was a real LEGEND! He modified a complete occasion for ever with a method that appeared loopy on the time however the consequence made it the usual.”

Ato Boldon, the previous Trinidadian sprinter, said: “Godspeed, Fos, from an eternally grateful sport.”

USA Monitor & Area, the game’s US governing physique, said: “Our sport misplaced a real legend and innovator at this time.”

USATF additionally posted a video during which Fosbury mentioned his work as a coach “throughout the nation and the world over, from the very starting, instructing coaches what the Fosbury Flop was all about, to … working with younger highschool athletes.

“… I encourage all athletes to maintain an open thoughts to the likelihood you could encourage a younger athlete to grow to be their finest, to seek out their very own approach in sport. And so thanks, and God bless.”

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