Dick Fosbury, the man who revolutionized the high jump with his famous ‘flop’, has died at the age of 76

The American athlete gave his name to a famous backstroke high jump technique in the late 1960s.

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The American athlete Dick Fosbury, in Mexico City (Mexico), October 10, 1968. (EPU/AFP)

Former American athlete Dick Fosbury, Olympic champion in 1968, who revolutionized the high jump with a technique that has become a school and now bears his name, died on Sunday at the age of 76, he announced Monday 13 March his agent. “It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that longtime friend and client Dick Fosbury passed away peacefully in his sleep early Sunday morning after a brief recurrence of lymphoma.Ray Schulte wrote on Instagram. The track and field legend is survived by wife Robin Tomasi, son Erich Fosbury and stepdaughters Stephanie Thomas-Phipps of Hailey, Idaho and Kristin Thompson. The family is planning a ‘celebration of life’ which will take place in the coming months.”He added.

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Dick Fosbury made track and field history with his famous “flop”. A back jumping technique, when all other athletes used the belly flip or scissors technique. It was in 1968 that the world discovered this strange bird hovering in the sky over Mexico City, where the Games were being 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 be the great revolutionary.

Because if a few years earlier Dick Fosbury, born in Portland (Oregon) on March 6, 1947, described himself, he aroused many criticisms, doubts, even mockery, on his way to Olympus, in an America where coaches and observers expected a breaking neck rather than supporting a medal, his legacy remains palpable more than fifty years later. “I didn’t know that anyone else in the world could use (this technique) and I never imagined that it would revolutionize the discipline”confided the one who failed to qualify for the Munich Olympics, after having to suspend his sports career to study civil engineering.

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