Dick Fosbury, the man who revolutionised the high jump discipline, died on Sunday at the age of 76, according to multiple media reports citing his agent. Fosbury was 21 years old when he invented the Fosbury Flop, a high jump technique that involved using a curved run-up and leaping over the bar with the back arched. The Oregon State University student won gold in the Fosbury Flop technique at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that longtime friend and client Dick Fosbury died peacefully in his sleep early Sunday morning after a brief recurrence of lymphoma,” Fosbury’s agent, Ray Schulte, said on Instagram.
“The Track & Field legend is survived by his wife Robin Tomasi, son Erich Fosbury, and stepdaughters Stephanie Thomas-Phipps of Hailey, Idaho, and Kristin Thompson,” he continued.
The family is planning a “Celebration of Life” that will take place within the next few months. Details will be released shortly. Friends and fans from all over the world will miss Dick terribly. A true legend and all-around good guy!”
Following his gold medal at the Olympics in Mexico City, the Fosbury Flop became so popular that by the next Olympics in Munich, 28 of the 40 competitors were using it in competition. The Seoul Olympics in 1988 were the final edition of the Games to feature a high jumper using a technique other than the Fosbury Flop.
“I thought that after I won the gold, one or two jumpers would start using it, but I never really contemplated that it would become the universal technique. “However, it only took a generation,” Fosbury explained in 2012.