Return of the Prodigy

The No. 1 mystery of U.S. sport is what makes a curve ball curve. No. 2 is the mercurial career of High Jumper John Thomas. A prodigy at 17, he was a world record holder at 18, a has-been at 19, and now, at 22, he is a sensation all over again. Last week, at Manhattan's Madison Square Garden, while runners pounded around the board track and an off-key band blared I Could Have Danced All Night, Thomas effortlessly leaped 7 ft. 21 in. on his first try and broke the Millrose Games record of Russia's Valery Brumel....

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