With the 40th anniversary of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics next year, we will see a resurgence of athletes that made an impact to the sport of Athletics.
Names like Tommie Smith and John Carlos, Al Oerter, Jim Hines, Bob Beamon, Lee Evans, and Dick Fosbury immediately come to mind.
USA won 12 out of 16 Golds in the speed, power and strength events.
Last June, I posted an Interview of Dick Fosbury from ESPN Sportzone.
This article by Dick Heller was posted on Tuesday’s Washington Times.
More than 30 years later, Fosbury could and did laugh at such dire predictions.
“There were some doctors who felt that way, too,” he told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in an interview. “But the worst thing that ever happened to me was that I missed the pit once in high school. … Actually, jumpers who use the Flop land on their shoulders [rather than their necks].”
The 1968 Summer Olympics were notable for several reasons. From an athletic standpoint, the highlights were Fosbury’s high jump and Bob Beamon’s astonishing long jump of 29-2½ — a world record that stood for 23 years. And in a turbulent political year for America, the Black Power salutes of sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith during the playing of the national anthem was a controversial and lasting image. And, ominously, the games were the first at which drug tests were administered.
As Fosbury practiced for his first jump in Mexico City’s rarefied altitude, 80,000 spectators watched in awe.
“When I went from the warmups to competition and the bar kept raising higher, the stadium was silent,” he recalled. “Everybody was watching this kid, this gringo take his mark and then rock back and forth preparing for a jump.”
After he finished competing, there were only cheers, applause and perhaps more than a few oles!
The full printer friendly article can be found here.