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Magnus_manhammer_esq t1_jc4i2hd wrote

Hey all,

I was fortunate enough to know Dick over the past year or so, by total happenstance, in a professional context. I was never a track and field athlete, and did not know who Dick "was" until somewhat recently.

In case anyone is curious, Dick Fosbury was one of the most intelligent, knowledgeable, and kind-hearted people I've ever had the privilege of working with. I knew him, essentially, as a city engineer and county commissioner, and his depth of knowledge on engineering, policy, and his love of the Idaho wilderness was second to none.

Most importantly, he was humble and kind. I was somewhat shocked to learn that he had any reputation, at all, let alone the possibility that he may have been "important to a sport" in any way.

I will miss working with him, and I hope that his humility, kindness, and dedication to helping others never goes unlooked. You occasionally meet someone that you know, immediately, is a "cut above" the rest of us, and Dick was that guy.

Rest easy, Dick.


pescabrarian t1_jc5a9q0 wrote

I live in Bellevue and have had the pleasure of interacting with Dick from my years at the city of Bellevue. He was a really nice guy. Like you said, he was humble, intelligent, funny and always kind. Gold medal of a human. He'll be greatly missed in Blaine County.


HooliganBeav t1_jc5cg3y wrote

My dad was a good friend of his (ran track together at Oregon State). He was such a great ambassador for the sport and one of the nicest guys I ever met.


hyperbemily t1_jc6jlm9 wrote

He’s always been one of the alum I’m proudest of, as a fellow beaver.


iamcraigman t1_jc5lym5 wrote

I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times at track meets. I will echo what everyone else has said about his humility and kindness.

He rather talked about the outdoors or engineering or politics before track, but he was quick to offer tips to the jumpers if he saw them struggling or needing a nudge.

I also found out that his favorite snow cone flavor was peach with a hint of tiger's blood on top.


DasbootTX t1_jc5liz2 wrote

Thank you for this. As a youth in the 70s, Wide World of Sports and the Olympics were always watched. I remember watching the Foz win. AND I remember his burger commercials where her turned it upside down. Thank you for sharing an idea of this man’s life. It gives me hope that we’ll be ok


howweusedtowas t1_jc6x2ht wrote

My pops worked for him at for a few years and man he was such a kind soul. If you worked up in the valley everyone loved him and how much e cares for this area.


monkeyinheaven t1_jc45h7z wrote

Few people had a larger impact in their sport than he did.


IvyGold t1_jc4q6rz wrote

Here's an IOC video that puts what he did into context:


manhatim t1_jc4i8w6 wrote

True....thought of Don Garlits...put the motor behind driver in drag cars


BoomeRoiD t1_jc4ohof wrote

I had the pleasure of seeing "Big Daddy" Don Garlits many times. Great dragster memories


Djbuckets t1_jc58psw wrote

Anderson Varejao made a good run at Varejao Flop becoming a thing for basketball, but it just wasn't quite the same.


BoomeRoiD t1_jc42b0s wrote

The founder of the "Fosbury flop"

Prior to this technique high jumping was not very high


jeff_says_relax t1_jc45j51 wrote

Fun little piece of trivia, they originally wanted to call it The Dick Flop but USA Track and Field stepped in and forbid it.


r1ngr t1_jc4kxpl wrote

That’s truly a more descriptive term.


Parsecer t1_jc4m37b wrote

We were on the verge of greatness, we were this close


Anal_Herschiser t1_jc52e61 wrote

Maybe it was just too confusing, prior to the Fosbury Flop a Dick flop could literally knock the bar over. So you’d be going from a Dick Flop being bad to a Dick Flop being good.


danger_zone123 t1_jc45rig wrote

I don't know that I would say that. The olympics before his was 2.16 and his was 2.24. A gain to be sure, but not multiples higher. Amazing achievement and innovator. It is interesting to see all the different techniques leading up to him, and since it has remained largely unchanged.


Slurm818 t1_jc4aqdo wrote

Imagine a 3.2 inch increase over one Olympiad. That’s quite a bit.


danger_zone123 t1_jc4cclp wrote

It also went from 2.04 in '52 to 2.12 in '56. Then 2.16 in '60. They were getting some big gains.


biggunsg0b00m t1_jc4mx1w wrote

Not alluding to anything, but '56 was exactly the first years of dbol being used in sports...


_The_Professor_ t1_jc5jbn3 wrote



biggunsg0b00m t1_jc5jhlu wrote

Dianobol, the first oral anabolic steroid was invented in 1955 by the Americans, and was closely followed by the Russians with Anadrol. This was one of the biggest reasons why so many records were smashed around this era.


_The_Professor_ t1_jc5jws3 wrote

Thx. Many people appreciate having acronyms and abbreviations spelled out.


GlorkyClark t1_jc69akl wrote

THX? What does this have to do with audiovisual standards? Many people appreciate having acronyms and abbreviations spelled out.


BoomeRoiD t1_jc466nt wrote

That's interesting, thank you. I still remember grade school when the flop was introduced.


MFR_escapee t1_jc4a0te wrote

Grew up in Medford, Oregon and learning the Fosbury Flop in elementary school PE class (late 70’s-early 80’s) seemed to be of utmost importance.

On top of that, we learned a great deal about the man behind the jump technique.


HungryHungryCamel t1_jc4vh44 wrote

He was in my uncles graduating class and he and my dad never shut up about it


iikun t1_jc5clbj wrote

In my elementary school as well. Even though, as somewhat uncoordinated young children, a fair proportion of us proceeded to knock the horizontal bar off the stands with our shoulder and somehow land on it back first. Man that hurt…


Skea_and_Tittles t1_jc6svan wrote

Grew up in oregon too (more recently) and can confirm. Oregon takes its track and field pretty seriously while also having a lot of respect for the local legends and innovators


allanwritesao t1_jc4kqn1 wrote

My mental timeline with him must be all skewed, because I'm very surprised he was only 76 years old


Johnny_B_Asshole t1_jc4qj36 wrote

He was 21 when he was in the 1968 Olympics. I was 8 and I remember my dad making a big thing about it.


_PM_ME_PANGOLINS_ t1_jc63941 wrote

I assumed he'd been dead for ~80 years.


GlorkyClark t1_jc69lnf wrote

Imagine if he was dead for 25 years when he competed in the olympics. He probably wouldn't be able to jump at all and would be really stiff.


Last_Lorien t1_jc46oqb wrote

Iconic guy. If you’ve got to revolutionise a sport, might as well do it his way (on the biggest stage, shoes unlaced, while being ridiculed throughout, getting the audience on his side and an Olympic Gold Medal).


Bid_Embarrassed t1_jc4zkm1 wrote

Im 5’10” and I have my high school high jump record 6’ 61/4” and I most definitely would not have been successful without the “Fosbury Flop”. Thank You Dick!


Blewfin t1_jc5z17f wrote

I'm still genuinely amazed that you guys measure field events in feet and inches. That's 199cm for anyone else wondering


7Thommo7 t1_jc61vfp wrote

Thanks. Feet and inches just makes no sense in Athletics.


Bid_Embarrassed t1_jc78d6b wrote

I knew as soon as I posted that in feet and inches I was gonna get booed haha actually in university track and field here in the states they do use the metrics system. I remember the throwing team had the conversions from meters to feet on t shirts as a joke


Lujho t1_jc4yfpk wrote

Huh, I remember hearing about the Fosbury flop in primary school 35 years ago, I had no idea it was someone who at the time was still alive and young. Would have assumed it was from 100 years ago or something.


Mehnard t1_jc4ezd9 wrote

I did the flop in high school. I cleared my height by 1/2 an inch. Condolences to Dick's family and friends.


Mehnard t1_jc4h1tq wrote

I just had a memory. There was a rule in high school that if you could get off the pad before the bar dropped, it was a good jump. We all developed a way of bouncing and doing a reverse flip off the side of the pad. I rode the bar all the way around, but it didn't fall. I walked upright under the bar after I was sure it wasn't going to fall.


JamesonQuay t1_jc4ngkd wrote

Will he be buried 7 feet over?


Trently22 t1_jc5eteq wrote

I got to know Dick from helping at the Simplot games in Pocatello, Idaho for the past decade. He not only revolutionized the high jump, but dedicated his ENTIRE life to helping youth track athletes and anyone else who he could. My last interaction with him was singing Karaoke and having a beer at the bowling alley in Pocatello. Sad day


JexFraequin t1_jc5scwh wrote

This is the first time I’ve seen Poky referenced on Reddit lol. I worked for the newspaper there, covered the Simplot Games and interviewed Dick a handful of times. Great guy.


MicheleKO t1_jc4s555 wrote

Revolutionized the sport. RIP


ed_internet t1_jc670f8 wrote

I’m glad they went with “The Fosbury Flop”, rather than “The Dick Flop”


gitarzan t1_jc5a9nr wrote

I remember watching him in the Olympics. He was amazing


Ricothebuttonpusher t1_jc5f84u wrote

Not just a great athlete, he changed an entire event for generations


Prize_Huckleberry_79 t1_jc59e88 wrote

It’s strange to see athletes like this being outlived by people like David Crosby, Keith Richards, Iggy Pop, etc….


christopherDdouglas t1_jc5pdve wrote

This is sad. High jump was my favorite event growing up and the Fosbury Flop was revolutionary for the event. It's an awesome story.


Spodiodie t1_jc4v0nn wrote

I was watching some kids at the High School the other day, they were learning/practicing this. I asked them they don’t know of the name of the jump or know of the guy. I wonder if their coaches even know.


DNA_ligase t1_jc5aff0 wrote

I remember my coach talking about how he was a kid when the technique was invented. RIP to a legend.


hldsnfrgr t1_jc5hn6j wrote

The OG pro-gamer move. 🫡


sinchichis t1_jc5i1rv wrote

I can see why they chose Fosbury flop instead of his first name


hernando_hernandenez t1_jc5zb9b wrote

I was a jumper and naturally did the flop.

I could jump a little bit years ago before I got old and slow and a little bit fat.

The Fosbury Flop is iconic.

I'm a little bit sad.

I have a pb of 2.28 metres.


KingMwanga t1_jc5c83p wrote

He’s was still alive, I learned about him in gym class like 10 years ago


Aeon1508 t1_jc5j026 wrote

Dick Fosbury creator of the Fosbury flop, a move that both revolutionized the high jump and also missed one of the greatest naming opportunities of all time


mixkael t1_jc5ples wrote

I read about this dude during my ACT for college


nun_gut t1_jc5ryjv wrote

Imagine inventing a new way of jumping after these millions of years.


Ter551 t1_jc5toky wrote

Foam matting was introduced in 1968 Olympics.


ChessCheeseAlpha t1_jc5vbvo wrote

Bobby Fischer doing high jump.

But seriously, what an innovator, the courage and skill required to break with tradition…. The resistance he encountered and overcame should a documentary.


listerstorm2009 t1_jc5yigx wrote

> Arrive

> Come to the Olympics with a new way to high jump

> Win Gold and OR

> Retire

> See everyone using the way you jumped ever since



wesharcup t1_jc61qr0 wrote

RIP. Absolute legend, selfless to the end-never wanted to put anyone out. Had them set the coffin at 2m, and got in himself.


garloot t1_jc69den wrote

The only man whose career can be defined as a flop. Vale Dick.


YadaYadaYou t1_jc69kn9 wrote

The “Fosbury Flop” was epic. He literally turned the sport of high jump upside down.


Gaat19 t1_jc6ii1g wrote

Finally the flopper flopped, rest in piece icon


seriousnotshirley t1_jc6iu6q wrote

I don’t know why people say he’s great. His entire career was a flop.


zenni321 t1_jc6t30a wrote

I teach a intro to Sports Medicine elective at my high-school. I fashion it more as an honors PE class - the kids learn the hows and whys behind the activities they play in PE. We begin our unit on biomechanics by talking about what a revolution the Fosbury Flop was and learning the whys behind why his technique worked. The kids are usually pretty intrigued - as they should be. RIP to a legend.


glm409 t1_jc6zxjm wrote

As a kid, I participated in the high jump in junior high and high school. Our track team went to the Drake relays in Des Moines Iowa and made a beeline to the high jump area to watch him compete. 50+ years later and I can still remember in vivid detail watching him jump live. It was an amazing experience.


STAugustine-Of-Hippo t1_jc70h0c wrote

He coached me in the summers at Bowdoin college for years with his Nike track camp. What a great mentor and intelligent man.


WoodyWordPecker t1_jc77idn wrote

Dick lived here in Idaho and came to my town every year as the chairman of the Simplot Games, a premier high school indoor track and field meet that draws more than 2000 kids each year. His star power enabled him to bring other Olympic gold medalists to Pocatello for the event.
Dick was kind, funny, a competitive teaser with other Olympians, and just a pleasure to be around. I’m lucky to have known him. He will be sorely missed.


Strat0BlasterX t1_jc790vh wrote

My father was a star track and field athlete in high school, and he learned how to high jump with the scissor kick method, and they would land in a sand pit! This guy, plus the foam pits revolutionized the sport.

FYI my dad cleared 6’6” in 1968, I never got past 4’10”, big disappoint 😂


brotherm00se t1_jc7dn6u wrote

*track and field great

he doesn't play for Oakland


tshef15 t1_jc7feps wrote

Remember watching ABC’s Wild World of Sports on Saturday afternoons and seeing him do this early in his career. It’s still fascinating to watch. That’s a legacy.


r0botdevil t1_jc7nerm wrote

Happy trails to a fellow Beaver.


born2bfi t1_jc7pmwc wrote

His forms sucks in that photo


Soangry75 t1_jc7pytq wrote

Fosbury has flopped his last


Wilma_Tonguefit t1_jc7xfh0 wrote

The 1968 Olympics might be the most interesting in history.

Unathletic Dick Fosbury invests a new way of doing high jump, wins easily, sets the world record, and never competes again. RIP Dick, one of the greatest athletic innovators ever.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise black gloved fists in a black power salute and were kicked out of the Olympic Village, and eventually the entire Olympic games as a result. IOC president Avery Brundage didn't seem to have a problem with Nazis competing and banning Jews from their events in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, but protesting for civil rights, now that's just a step too far. (Fuck that guy)

The second place finisher in the 200m race Aussie Peter Norman wore an "Olympic Project for Human Rights" badge in solidarity with the duo, and was the one who suggested they each wear one glove cuz they only had one pair. He was shunned in Australia for decades and was "mysteriously" not sent to compete in the 1972 Olympics by his country, despite qualifying easily. He's only recently been honored by Australia for his achievements within the last 20 years. He remained friends with Smith and Carlos until he passed away in 2006. They were pallbearers at his funeral.

Probably the most unbelievable achievement was by Bob Beamon in the long jump. He set the record of 29ft 2 1/2 in, which absolutely SHATTERED the previous record of 27ft 4 1/2in by almost 2 FEET. It's still the Olympic record today.


ElGrandeWhammer t1_jc7zlec wrote

Great? I thought he was a massive Flop....



TheMostBacon t1_jc89h6w wrote

As someone who went to the Simplot games every year, this sucks.


Majsharan t1_jc8cm3p wrote

This guy was a flop


xbgpoppa t1_jc8poft wrote

From the comments I’m reading it seems like he wasn’t even close to being a dick. Now that’s my kinda Dick.


kompootor t1_jc8z8fq wrote

I heard the first sport Fosbury pursued seriously was boxing; the track & field team was just for cross-training. But as his career in the ring seemed more uncertain, he suddenly realized: he could make more money with a flop than with a hit!

[I know this is one of many jokes here about the flop. It is justifiable to keep talking about it as it did revolutionize the sport -- most sports don't get revolutionized. I don't think it's bad taste that people here make jokes (but c'mon, give it some effort) about Fosbury and the flop on his death as it's his clear historical legacy (apart from friends and family, comments from/about whom have been rightfully upvoted to the top). I didn't know the guy personally, obviously, but I've discussed the flop in conversation, in coaching, and especially in teaching science. So my contribution to this remembrance thread will be a joke I made up about the flop -- at least it's (hopefully) more entertaining than my physics lecture about it.]


Nathanlee213 t1_jc9yp0a wrote

You mean we had a choice to call it the “Dick flop” and we chose “Fosbury flop” for alliteration!? Never before have I been so disappointed in humanity


Amiiboid t1_jc4xjra wrote

Who remembers Dennis Miller doing football commentary, suddenly deciding to say that a player was "flopping around out there like Dick Fosbury"?


ErvanMcFeely t1_jc50a37 wrote

When I was younger, I heard somewhere that it’s called the Fosbury Flop because when he started doing it everyone thought it was going to “be a flop” and not work at all. Since being an adult I have done a bit of googling and never found anything to back this up. Does anyone know anything about this tale?


edudspoolmak t1_jc5nmhh wrote

Look at that dude, flipping and flopping all over the place up there…


coupleandacamera t1_jc6b8by wrote

Great? I was always told his career was something of a flop.


cujoslim t1_jc5eeqd wrote

Fuck, I gotta see this dick if they’re writing articles about it.


N620JH t1_jc5kqg2 wrote

That guy was a real flop.


sluggernate t1_jc58hmx wrote

I did the high jump in jr. high. I was okay.


Ok-Association-9887 t1_jc5bl5d wrote

All that working out and still died, I guess he looks healthy in his casket. Im eating a butter stick dipped in sugar 😆


beargrease_sandwich t1_jc4pfx1 wrote

If he's so great, how come he's dead? - Homer Simpson


GoodkallA t1_jc4staa wrote

Never heard of him.