CORVALLIS, Ore. – Former Oregon State high jumper Dick Fosbury, an NCAA champion and 1968 Olympic gold medalist, will receive the E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award on Friday in a ceremony at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center.
The honor will be conferred by the OSU Alumni Association at its annual Spring Award Celebration. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. with a social hour; the awards ceremony and dinner follow at 6:30 p.m.
The OSU Alumni Association established the E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award to recognize and honor former OSU students who have made significant contributions to society, and whose accomplishments and careers have brought credit to OSU.
The award does more than honor these former students. It spotlights the accomplishments of OSU, and thereby increases the pride in our Alma Mater by all associated with the University. It also shows the people of Oregon and the nation tangible evidence of the effectiveness of the progress of our University.
Fosbury began his "flop" style of high jumping at Medford High School and polished it as a student-athlete at OSU. He won the gold medal at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics by clearing 7-4.25, an Olympic and American record at that time.
Fosbury was the 1968 and 1969 NCAA champion and placed second at the 1969 AAU meet. He graduated from OSU in 1972 with a civil engineering degree.
Fosbury revolutionized the high jump by replacing the traditional approach with his backward style, consisting of a curved running approach, a modified scissor jump, and a back layout. He landed on his lower neck and shoulders, which led to another innovation – the introduction of padded landing mats to replace the traditional sand landing pit.
He is a member of the Pacific-12 Conference's All-Century men's track & field team, the OSU Sports Hall of Fame, the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, the U.S. Track & Field Hall of Fame, and the World Humanitarian Hall of Fame.
Fosbury retired after a 40-year career in engineering in 2011 and currently lives near Bellevue, Idaho. He is the president of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Association; he formerly served as the organization's vice-president, and as treasurer.
He founded the Idaho Chapter of Olympians, and is a Past President of the World Olympians Association. He is also the Honorary Chairman of the Simplot Games, held in Pocatello each February for the past 36 years.
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