Fifty years after his gold-medal jump, a deeper look at the man behind a success story like no other in sports
Bob Welch, author of the fall-release book The Wizard of Foz: Dick Fosbury’s One-Man High-Jump Revolution, shares the amazing story of a failed high school athlete who invents a new, backward-over-the-bar style and, five years later, is the best high-jumper on the planet. The OSU grad is notable not only for his athletic accomplishments, but also for taking a stance to support a black OSU football player who had been kicked off the team. Further, after flunking out of school and almost being drafted while the war in Vietnam raged, he returned to OSU and earned his civil engineering degree. Many know the basic Fosbury story, but few know all that he overcame, including ‘the death of a sibling, a near-drowning, doubt, ridicule and doctors who said his style would lead to mass spine injuries”, to win the gold medal. But, Fosbury laughed last as every high jumper in the world today uses his style.