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

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 buddy and shopper 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 received high-jump gold in Mexico Metropolis after a ultimate 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 many years 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 profitable worldwide fame.

In 2012, Fosbury instructed 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 manner past what I had ever anticipated to do. I favored the eye, however I needed it to be over at some extent. It didn’t work that manner.”

He additionally stated he grew to become “mentally exhausted” as a result of “there was an excessive amount of consideration. Folks 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 stated the gold “modified my life. It introduced me items, not essentially financial. I’ve met presidents and kings, seen the world and shared my life with great folks.”

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 stated of the Fosbury Flop: “I suppose it did look type of bizarre at first however 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 folks have claimed that they did, most notably the Canadian future world No1 Debbie Brill, who was creating the ‘Brill Bend’ at across the similar time, and was videoed utilizing the method in 1966. ‘I used to be fairly shocked once I noticed Fosbury bounce the primary time,’ she stated. ‘I believed I used to be the one one doing it.’”

In 2009, in a Guardian piece printed 41 years to the day since his gold-medal win, Fosbury stated the Flop “received its title earlier in 1968 when a journalist requested what my method was referred to 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 favored 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 put up on Monday, Schulte wrote: “The observe and discipline legend is survived by his spouse, Robin Tomasi, and son, Erich Fosbury, and stepdaughters Stephanie Thomas-Phipps … and Kristin Thompson.”

Schulte stated a celebration of Fosbury’s life was being deliberate, and added: “Dick can be enormously missed by buddies and followers from world wide. A real legend, and buddy of all!”

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

“The world legend might be used too typically,” Johnson said. “Dick Fosbury was a real LEGEND! He modified a complete occasion for ever with a method that seemed 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 Observe & Discipline, the game’s US governing physique, said: “Our sport misplaced a real legend and innovator at present.”

USATF additionally posted a video during which Fosbury mentioned his work as a coach “throughout the nation and internationally, from the very starting, educating 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 that you would be able to encourage a younger athlete to develop into their finest, to seek out their very own manner in sport. And so thanks, and God bless.”