Dick Fosbury

Photo courtesy: Dick Fosbury Instagram

Olympic legend Dick Fosbury has died.

USA Track and Field CEO Max Siegel made the announcement on Monday. 

Fosbury passed away in his sleep Sunday morning following complications from lymphoma. 

He was 76 years old. 

Fosbury was a track and field legend, best known for inventing the back first technique in men's high jump known as "The Fosbury Flop."

He won gold in the high jump event using that technique in the 1968 Olympics. 

Fosbury also had several connections to Idaho. 

He served as chairman of the annual Simplot Game in Pocatello for more than 20 years. 

He also lived in Ketchum and served on the Blaine County Commission. 

According to a post on his public Instagram page, Fosbury is survived by his wife, son and two step-daughters. 

A celebration of life is being planned for next week. 

The chair of the Idaho Democratic party, Lauren Necochea, issued a statement on Fosbury's passing.

"The legacy of Dick Fosbury extends far beyond the high jump," she writes. "A long-time civil rights advocate and business leader, he was a pillar of the Wood River Valley. As an Idaho Democrat, he exemplified so many of our values: fairness, grit, and innovative action. On behalf of the Idaho Democratic Party, I would like to extend my deep sympathies and condolences to the family and loved ones of Commissioner Fosbury.”

The Simplot Games also issued a statement on their Facebook page:

"We mourn the passing of our friend Dick Fosbury. He will forever be remembered as a pioneer in the high jump—a gold medalist who transformed his event to a degree that few athletes in any sport could claim. For us, though, he meant so much more.
"As the Simplot Games chairman for more than 20 years, he elevated our event with his passion for competition and commitment to high school athletes. He introduced us to the spirit of Olympism—an ideal he lived day in and day out—and invited many of his Olympian friends to join us in Pocatello, Idaho.
"Even five decades after he “flopped” his way to an Olympic gold medal, his connection with high school athletes, their coaches, our officials, and everyone else associated with the Games was remarkable—as was his energy and enthusiasm. He was a friend to many, and an inspiration to all."

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