Track and Field Writers of America's Book of the Year! "Great read! .... Evokes a time and place that many of us remember well, and provides insight for those who came after. "--Tom Jordan, author of Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine
In 1968, perhaps the finest US Olympic men's track-and-field team ever stirred the world in unprecedented ways, among them the victory stand black rights protest by Tommie Smith and John Carlos in Mexico City. But in competition no single athlete mirrored the free-thinking '60s better than Dick Fosbury, a failed prep high jumper who invented an offbeat style that ultimately won him a gold medal and revolutionized the event. No jumpers today use any other style than his.
Yet few know the struggles Fosbury endured to achieve his success, as he and Bob Welch recount in The Wizard of Foz
. From the tragic death of a younger brother to nearly dying himself, from flunking out of college to nearly being drafted, Fosbury cleared far more obstacles than a high-jump bar. And even when he had seemingly made the US Olympic Team, he faced a "redo" that nobody saw coming.
This book tells a story of loss, survival, and triumph, twined in a person (Fosbury), a time (the '60s), and a place (a fantasy-like Olympic Trials venue high in the Sierra Nevada) clearly made for each other. It is a story of a young man who refused to listen to those who laughed at him, those who doubted him, and those who tried to make him someone he was not.Author:
9.10h x 6.20w x 1.00dISBN:
9781510736191Review Citation(s): Booklist
09/01/2018 pg. 39
About the Author
Bob Welch is an author, speaker, and award-winning columnist, who has served as an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Oregon in Eugene. He has written more than twenty books and thousands of columns for the Register-Guard, Oregon's second-largest newspaper. Welch lives in Eugene, Oregon.
Dick Fosbury is known worldwide as the inventor of the Fosbury Flop high-jump style, with which he won the Olympic medal in 1968. After competing, he followed the passion of his youth--civil engineering--at Oregon State University and supplemented that with an array of the numerous opportunities that came his way, many because of his "Fosbury Flop" fame. The USA Olympic Hall of Famer travels the world, inspiring young athletes and corporate partners alike while promoting track and field. Fosbury resides in Bellevue, Idaho.
Ashton Eaton is the 2012 and 2016 decathlon Olympic gold medalist and current world record holder.