Richard Douglas "Dick" Fosbury (born March 6, 1947) is an Americanathlete 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.
Fosbury came upon the Flop quite by accident, during his sophomore year in high school in Medford, Ore. He was a gangly kid and a struggling high jumper, sick of bowing out of competitions at five feet, getting nowhere but frustrated jumping straddle style.
When he Flopped his way over the bar at 6-7 to set the school record, Wagner gave in, though many others were still resisting it, including a prominent coach and a parade of doctors, who claimed that the Flop was a broken neck waiting to happen.
Fosbury cleared seven feet at an indoor meet in Oakland early in 1968, and jumped 7-3 in the Olympic trials.
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