Today in history: Oregonian 'flops' to world record in high jump - KPTV - FOX 12

Today in history: Oregonian 'flops' to world record in high jump

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High jumper Dick Fosbury of the United States is shown in October 1968, debuting his celebrated "Fosbury Flop," during the Summer Olympics in Mexico City. (AP photo) High jumper Dick Fosbury of the United States is shown in October 1968, debuting his celebrated "Fosbury Flop," during the Summer Olympics in Mexico City. (AP photo)
(KPTV) -

You might not know the name Dick Fosbury or the jumping technique that bears his name, but you've certainly seen it in action.

On October 20, 1968 the Oregon State University athlete showed off an unorthodox approach to the high jump at the Olympics in Mexico City and went on to the win gold.

Fosbury also broke the world record, jumping at a height of 2.24 meters (about 7 feet, 4 inches).

He did so by jumping backward over the bar and landing on his back, something no other athlete was doing at the time. It's a move now called the 'Fosbury Flop.'

Before Fosbury "flopped" to victory, most high jumpers used a scissor-kick or straddling style of jump.

Fosbury didn't like the moves that much and in high school he started trying out a backward jump instead.

By college, he'd fine-tuned the technique and went on to win the NCAA championships and qualify for the Olympics.

Since Fosbury's historic win in Mexico City, high jumpers around the world have adopted the 'Fosbury Flop' and it is the standard technique used in competition today.

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