Few have impacted athletics as much as Fosbury and his flop

Of all of the exceptional figures and statistics related to the number of disciplines that are featured in observe and discipline athletics, essentially the most astounding to me is the boys’s excessive bounce world report.

Set in 1993 by Cuban legend Javier Sotomayor, the mark of two.45 metres won’t appear significantly exceptional, contemplating how briskly folks have run and the way far they’ve jumped and thrown in different occasions.

But when the excessive bounce bar is about on the world report peak and I stand below it with my arms pointing straight up, even when I bounce I can’t contact the bar. Each time I’ve carried out this, it has blown my thoughts. I can’t even start to understand how anybody can bounce that prime with no help.

Leaping backwards

The one factor crazier than the truth that folks can leap that kind of peak is that Sotomayor jumped backwards over the bar. In my thoughts, it appears logical that leaping forwards or sideways would obtain better heights.

That, nevertheless, is clearly not the case, and we’ve identified this for the reason that 1968 Olympic Video games in Mexico Metropolis when Dick Fosbury gained the gold medal with a singular type of leaping that has since change into the one method utilized in excessive bounce competitions – the fosbury flop.

Dick Fosbury clears the bar throughout a excessive bounce competitors in Oregon in 1972. Image: Getty Pictures

If you wish to see how a lot of a distinction it makes leaping backwards over the bar, all it is advisable to do is watch folks attempting different kinds. As compared, they’re awkward and comical.

Earlier than Fosbury figured this out, athletes would both tumble forwards over the bar or clear it with a sideways scissor kick, earlier than touchdown on their toes or crashing right into a pile of sawdust .

New heights

Whereas many different athletes have made breakthrough modifications of their disciplines with new kinds and strategies – like Emil Zatopek together with his brutal fartlek coaching and Ed Moses decreasing the variety of strides between hurdles – few (if any) have been extra influential in athletics than Fosbury and his backwards flop. It modified your complete excessive bounce self-discipline and lifted athletes to new heights which couldn’t have been imagined earlier than.

ALSO READ: Excessive jumper Dick Fosbury has died, aged 76

In case you ever need to understand how a lot of a distinction Fosbury’s breakthrough method benefited the excessive bounce self-discipline, stand below a bar set at 2.45m, elevate your arms above your head and bounce.

It’s astounding how excessive folks can leap, and we owe all of it to Fosbury, the best sport changer of all of them.

Could he relaxation in peace.