Dick Fosbury Featured in Sports Illustrated
Sept. 14, 2009
AS A GAWKY TEENAGER IN THE 1960S, DICK FOSBURY JUST WANTED TO FIND SOMETHING HE WAS REALLY GOOD AT. LITTLE DID HE KNOW HE WOULD BECOME AN OLYMPIC CHAMPION AND TURN A SPORT LITERALLY UPSIDE DOWN
By: Richard Hoffer
Just because he was from the right side of town (and in little Medford, Ore., there was a right and a wrong side), Dick Fosbury was no more insulated from adolescent angst than the next teenager. He was tall, gangly to the extreme—"a grew-too-fast kid," his coach would say—and not good enough at anything he did to keep above the hallway fray.
Here's how it was at Medford High: Say Steve Davis (right side of town) spotted Bill Enyart (wrong side), first day of school. He'd grab Enyart by the neck and turn his collar inside out, exposing the source of shame right there on the label for all to see. "JC Penney!" he'd howl. And keep in mind, Enyart was the Medford High fullback, on his way to becoming Earthquake Enyart, an NFL career down the line. Social-class distinction offsets brawn any day. But do you think Davis would recognize Fosbury's shared aristocracy? (Fosbury's father was a truck sales manager, his mother a secretary.) If Davis caught Fosbury loitering by Fosbury's locker, he'd punch him in the shoulder.
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