Former Olympic high jump champion Dick Fosbury has died. The inventor of the Fosbury flop jumping technique named after him died on Sunday, as the AP news agency, citing his adviser Ray Schulte, and the American Athletics Association (USA Track and Field) announced on Monday. The track and field athlete, whose full name was Richard Douglas Fosbury, was 76 years old.
Fosbury had revolutionized his discipline. The high jumper developed a technique in which the bar is crossed backwards. The American won the Olympic gold in Mexico City's Estadio Olimpico on October 20, 1968 with a jump of 2.24 meters. The Fosbury flop thereafter became the standard in high jump, but the namesake retired just a year after his greatest success.
"I am deeply saddened by the passing of Dick Fosbury, a true legend and a pioneer in the athletics world. Dick's innovative technique of the Fosbury flop revolutionized the high jump and changed the sport forever. His gold medal win at the 1968 Mexico Olympics -City not only cemented its place in US Olympic history, but also left an indelible mark on the global sports community," USA Track and Field chief Max Siegel was quoted as saying on the association's Twitter account. Fosbury's legacy will live on as an inspiration to all, it said.
"The jump opened doors for me," Fosbury once said. "I was just lucky enough to be the first. I absolutely believe that otherwise someone else would have invented the technology." His jumping technique was also the beginning of the end of the "belly roll", also known as the straddle.