“Fifty Years after the Fosbury Flop” – What Dick Fosbury Remembers

For Immediate Release
Date: January 24, 2019
Contact: Nicholas Bringhurst (208) 417-9379
Email: media@simplotgames.com

Fifty Years After the “Fosbury Flop” – What Dick Fosbury Remembers

Pocatello, Idaho – A lot can change in the Track and Field world in 50 years: records can be broken or new athletes can rise to the top, but few have accomplished what Dick Forbury did in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
Not only did Fosbury clear a height of 7’4.25”, which broke both the American and Olympic records on his rise to the top of the gold medal podium, but he revolutionized the high jump event with an unusual approach.
His new jumping method, the ‘Fosbury Flop’, required athletes to arch their back backwards across the bar, rather than facing the bar. This technique’s impact was something that never crossed Fosbury’s mind.
“I really had no idea that I was creating something that anyone else might use in the high jump,” he said. “I was just making my own way to get over that bar and trying not to lose every time.”
The Fosbury Flop became universal. In the 50 years since, Fosbury has been inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, the Oregon Hall of Fame, the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame, and the World Humanitarian Hall of Fame. He has also taught athletes from around the world for the past 25 years.
All these accomplishments are not surprising for Lisa Woodland, Simplot Games Executive Director.
“It’s people like Dick Fosbury who have made track and field the sport that it is today, filled with innovation, passion, and the desire to reach beyond our limits,” she said.
Despite becoming an icon for innovation in the track and field world, Fosbury is not worried about his place in the history books, but instead, doing the things that he loves for the sport.
“I don’t really think of how I’ll be remembered, I’m still focused on being blessed to work with young athletes and coaching them in sports,” Fosbury said. “I love to motivate and inspire kids to become the best they can and experience the joy of effort.”
Fosbury believes the value of the Games is not in winning the gold medal, but in the lessons you learn on the track.
“The value of sports or music or science or whatever you do is always best when you play fair, respect your opponent in competition, and always give your best effort,” he said. “This is why I always come back to watch the athletes from around the world come to Pocatello for Simplot Games, I love it.”
This is one reason why track and field events are so compelling to watch. It’s not just the podium that makes people watch and participate, it’s the triumphs and struggles that lead to it.
Fosbury made history 50 years ago, what history will be made at the 2019 Simplot Games?
More than 2,100 athletes will come from across the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand to participate in the 41st annual Simplot Games. Simplot Games remains the nation’s premier high school indoor track and field event. Sponsored by the J.R. Simplot Company since 1979, the Simplot Games are held at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho.
For more information on Simplot Games, please visit our website at www.simplotgames.com. You may also contact Lisa Woodland at (208) 235-5604 or Simplot Games Media Team at media@simplotgames.com.
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