Track and Field event of High Jump

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Track and Field event of High Jump
The high jump is a very interesting and unique event in the Olympic Games. It has ancient origins and is a very exciting sport for the participants and the viewers. The Olympic event is very interesting because of the way in which the athletes approach the bar and then jump over it. Over the years many different styles of clearing the bar have been employed but none has been more effective or controversial than the Fosbury Flop. Over the years this event has become a mainstay in world athletics and it looks like its prestige and importance in the sports world will only continue to grow.
The history of the high jump seems to stretch all the way back to the very beginnings of the Olympic Games. They were a part of the ancient Olympics in Greece and have continued to be a part of the event ever since. The sport along with the javelin throw, the discus and the hammer throw were all part of the original Games. The high jump is an event where a horizontal bar is placed above the ground and it has to be jumped over by participants. The higher the bar gets the more difficult the sport becomes. The first modern high jump event to take place happened at the beginning of the 20th Century, when Irish American M.F. Sweeny developed a new technique for the jump called the scissor style. He managed to take the clearance level to 6 feet 5 inches and a new era for the sport was born. Later another athlete came along called M.F. Horine, who developed a new style called the western roll. This also proved to be successful for him and he managed to set a new record of 6 feet 7 inches. Over the years the record stayed put until the emergence of the straddle style jump modernised the sport again and allowed a jump of 7 feet to finally be completed. Then came the great d**k Fosbury, who invented the Fosbury Flop, which generated a little bit of controversy when it was introduced, but then became the standard in the sport from then on.
Many different styles have been used in the sport over the years as mentioned above. Previously only sawdust was used to cushion an athlete’s landing when they eventually returned to the ground. The first jumping style that was introduced was called the scissor style. This method saw a jumper approach the bar and then lift one leg over it while making the back horizontal and then bringing the other leg over as well. This proved to be very successful until the introduction of the western roll. Besides sounding like a Chinese take away menu item, it became the standard in the sport. This style saw the jumper approach the bar as usual but then push off with the inner leg and cross the bar with the outer leg and then roll over to complete the move. This was the opposite of the scissor style which saw athletes push with the outer leg and lift the inner leg over the bar first. Then later on came the straddle style which was the same as the western roll except that a jumper would rotate their stomachs in towards the bar to complete the jump.
The biggest innovation to the sport came with the introduction of the Fosbury Flop, which d**k Fosbury perfected. This method had athletes run into the bar and then take off and jump over the bar backwards and land on their shoulders. This method when first introduced was controversial because people thought that a person’s neck would be damaged from landing on it. It turned out that when properly done a person does not land on their neck but on their shoulders. By using the Fosbury Flop, d**k won the gold medal in the 1968 Olympics and introduced a style that has been used ever since.
The sport of high jump will continue to see many changes and will continue to be modernised over the years. With new techniques and styles being invented all the time, the goal will forever be to get as high as possible and clear the highest placed bar before anyone else can.



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