The Wizard of Foz, Dick Fosbury’s One Man High Jump Revolution by Dick Fosbury with Bob Welch; 2018; $24.99; 262 pages; Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY; 978-1-5107-3619-1; checked out from Multnomah County Library,Central; 12/3/18-12/13/18
Why did I read this? Because Dick Fosbury is from Oregon and he (and some lesser known folk) revolutionized one event in track and field.
One day at Medford High School (that is in Oregon) a teenager tried something different to get over the high jump bar. He did it because he wanted to stay on the track team and wasn’t having much success with the traditional straddle method. From 1965 to 1968 he went from barely being on his high school track to setting national, world and Olympic records. He made the 1968 Olympic Team beating out more established high jumpers and won the Gold Medal in the High Jump at the Mexico City games. Some of the events at the ’68 Olympics opened his eyes to racism and affected him when he returned to Oregon State University after the Olympics. Now most , if not all, high jumpers go over the bar in the manner of Dick Fosbury, creator of the Fosbury Flop. Dick Fosbury has not let this one event define his life as he has gone on to do so much more.
What is with the title of the review? Fosbury is from Medford. Oregon which is where many of my relatives on both sides of my family are from. I have several cousins who also attended Medford High School, My Uncle Floyd and Aunt Jody taught Dick’s parents how to square dance. Fosbury attended Oregon State University and I have a sister who has worked there for twenty years or more. There were people and places in the book that I have met or been too.