Six seconds. That's all it took for Bob Beamon to leap into history. That's all it took for the slender 22-year-old long jumper to speed 19 strides down the runway, ascend to a height of six feet, stay up in the air like a bird and finally land an incomprehensible 29 feet, 2½ inches later. Of all Olympic records, none is as impressive as the one Beamon stunningly set Oct. 18, 1968 in Mexico City.
1968 Mexico City Olympics: Bob Beamon Queens native Bob Beamon jumped his way into the Olympic record books in 1968 when he shattered the world record in the long jump in the thin air of Mexico City. Beamon's mark stood for nearly 23 years before fellow American Mike Powell finally bested him in 1991. His historic jump was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the five greatest sports moments of the century.
Bob Beamon long jumps 29′ 2 1/2 inches to shatter the world record by more than two feet at the 1968 Olympics. When re realized how far he jumped, he fell to the ground in shock. His world record held for 23 years and he STILL holds the Olympic record in 2012.
50 stunning Olympic moments No2: Bob Beamon's great leap forward: As great sporting 'Blimey!' moments go, the shattering of the long-jump world record in 1968 still stands at the pinnacle! When the measurement was read out in centimetres, Beamon did not comprehend... ... his feat. But when he was informed of his status as a world record holder he sank to his knees and was comforted by team-mates and rivals in one of the most enduring Olympic images.
When he was just 17 years old, Bob Mathias captured his first gold medal in the decathlon at the 1948 Games in London. Four years later, he became the first man to successfully defend a decathlon gold, winning another at the 1952 Games in Helsinki. www.legend-s.co.uk