Discus

Discus

Painstaking skill combines with massive, brute strength as the muscled athlete sends a heavy metal discus hurtling across the field. Though the motion appears to just in his arms, actually the entire body must be behind each effort. In each throw, there is a moment called the “power position”, an instant when all the forces of the athlete’s body begin to work in perfect unison. Then, thrust must surge from his right leg and hip, and his chest must be stretched by the sharp pull of his left arm. Finally, the right arm… holding the discus… is the last body part to come into the throw, and the air seems to pulse as the explosion of the the final release grips the discus thrower’s body. The discus throw is as old as the ancient Greek Olympics, and joined the Modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. In the first years of the Modern Games, athletes drew from ancient Greece for much of their throwing style, even using an inclined pedestal as a throwing base. Today, athletes use a computer to find the optimum throwing style for their particular body structure. The discus throw is one of the most demanding field events at the Games, and American athletes have consistently astounded the world with their skillful performances. In fact, it was American Alfred Oerter – four time Olympics champion  – who became the first man to throw the discus over two hundred feet. The stamp featured on this First Day Cover was issued by the United States Postal Service to commemorate this Olympics event.