London 1908 Olympics

London 1908 Olympics

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High Jump

High Jump

An agile woman athlete carefully increases her pace as she makes her approach. She gains momentum, and… just as she reaches the bar… her body becomes rigid in anticipation of the jump. Then, with a sudden burst of energy, she springs into the air and gracefully glides over the bar, aloft like a gull until she descends to the soft mat that cushions her landing. Although one usually wouldn’t consider jumping over a bar as a feat of grace, a spectator watching the women’s Olympics high jump competition soon sees the art and beauty of a well performed jump. Since this event requires no obligatory style of jumping, there are many different techniques employed, and so, the best high jumper is the person who is devoted to the pure art and form of the high jump, in addition to rigorous athletic conditioning. The most popular jumping style used today is the straddle, where the jumper approaches the bar at an angle, lifts the lead leg and drapes her body face down, parallel to the bar, in much the same way a hurdler leaps obstacles.. The most recently-developed style… which promises to rival the straddle… is called the Fosbury flop. Its inventor, Dick Fosbury, used this unique style to win the gold medal for the United States and set a new Olympics record of over eight feet in 1968. The stamp which is featured on this First Day Cover was issued by the United States Postal Service in honor of the exciting Olympics event of women’s high jump.