Dick Fosbury – inventor

Richard Hoffer from Sports Illustrated has a new book out, “Something in the Air: American Passion and Defiance in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.” In a recent issue, SI excerpted a piece on Dick Fosbury, Olympic high jump champion who revolutionized his sport but creating a new method/approach to achieving the end result. It was the mark reminiscent of all great inventors.

From the article: “Consider, then, the Fosbury Flop, an upside-down and backward leap over a high bar, an outright—an outrageous!—perversion of acceptable methods of jumping over obstacles. An absolute departure in form and technique. It was an insult to suggest, after all these aeons, that there had been a better way to get over a barrier all along. And if there were, it ought to have come from a coach, a professor of kinesiology, a biomechanic, not an Oregon teenager of middling jumping ability.”

And this is what inventors, entrepreneurs, innovators, etc. of any age must do. Go against conventional thinking and the implicit or explicit resistance from others whose livelihood, sense of self-worth, or stable position in life is threatened by something new.

You can read the full article at SI.com at http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1160029/1/index.htm. Hoffer’s book can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Something-Air-American-Defiance-Olympics/dp/1416588949/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254230962&sr=1-1.