Track & Field: The Fosbury Flop

The Chinese read backwards, and it doesn't seem to hurt their eyes. The Czechs make movies backwards, and do all right at the box office. So why shouldn't an American named Dick Fosbury win gold and glory at the Olympics —by jumping backwards?

He just may. Fosbury, 21, a senior at Oregon State University, has been racking up victory after victory this year with the most preposterous high-jumping technique ever devised. Approaching the bar, he plants his right foot, spins a full 180°, and launches himself backwards into the air. Experts are at...

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