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YouTube Gold: A Wild Long Jump Technique

But this may be the only place you ever get to see it.

FBK Games 2023
 HENGELO, NETHERLANDS - JUNE 04: JuVaughn Harrison of USA competes in the Long Jump during the FBK Games at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Stadium or FBK Stadion on June 04, 2023 in Hengelo, Netherlands.
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Well this is something, unless you’re a student of track and field history, you probably never heard of.

In the 1970’s, a long jumper from New Zealand named Tuarirki Delamare started doing something astonishing and brilliant: he incorporated a somersault into his jump.

It makes a lot of sense because the momentum would tend to pull you forwards.

It reminds us of the revolution in high jumping ushered in by Dick Fosbury in the 1968 Olympics: prior to the now universal Fosbury Flop, where you go over back first, people went over face first. Obviously Fosbury had a better idea. His idea stuck of course, but the somersault?

The somersault was quickly banned and remains so.

As the narrator points out, it’s a much riskier technique than the standard method, but still, it’s pretty amazing to watch and it’s also easy to empathize with a genius who came up with a great idea - only to see it forever outlawed.