Sport: Topping the Kangaroos

The shadows of early evening were beginning to creep across the infield, but nobody made a move to leave. Other athletes in brightly colored warm-up suits lounged on the grass, spectators now themselves. The attention of everyone in cavernous Stanford Stadium was focused on a lanky figure poised at the end of the high-jump runway.

Russia's Valery Brumel danced a little jig to loosen his leg muscles. He lifted his left hand in a crisp salute—a signal that he was ready. Suddenly he was galloping violently toward the pit. His left foot slammed into...

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