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YouTube Gold: The Fosbury Flop

How many people get to revolutionize a sport?

High Jumper Dick Fosbury Making Unconventional Jump
Dick Fosbury revolutionized high jumping by going over backwards

The 1968 Olympics are famous for Bob Beamon’s phenomenal long jump, the podium protest by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the US team winning gold in basketball despite not having spectacular talent, and Dick Fosbury.

We talked about him briefly in Sunday’s YouTube Gold about Pelé (and mistakenly called him Bob Fosbury).

What we didn't know about him, aside from his first name, was that he was an engineering student and that helped him to revolutionize the high jump.

Traditionally, people went over chest first. Fosbury took a closer look and realized that if he went over backwards and arched his back, he could keep his center of gravity below the bar.

As you’ll see in this video, he was right and he revolutionized the sport. No one has ever come up with a better way to high jump than the Fosbury Flop.

However, his quirks and loner personality led to a certain amount of derision before he won gold.