Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Gold Medal and A Flop - All in One

I was driving to a running trail recently and I saw something I've never seen before and I doubt that I will see again.  At a stoplight a cyclist crossed in front of me.  She appeared to be quite serious - nice bike, appropriate clothing and helmet and she was riding on a trail normally used by serious weekend warriors.

Everything seemed normal except that there was a 16-inch parrot or similar bird on her handlebars.  I assumed that it was just a stuffed animal of some kind until I saw it start moving around.  Was it really a bird?  I probably will never know but my next thought was "why isn't it wearing a helmet"?

I enjoy watching the Tour de France but I don't have any autographs of Sportscaster cycling cards.  My first autographed card from this set came from a few promotions done at the National Card show.  In an effort to pump up the Olympics the National had a separate wing of the show for dealers who focused on Olympic memorabilia.

There was lots of cool stuff both times that the National had this wing dedicated to Olympic memorabilia.  The problem was that there weren't many customers walking through that section.  My son and I walked through there a bunch of time and bought a few cheap items.

One of their best promotions was having Dick Fosbury show up and sign autographs.  For those who don't know, Fosbury revolutionized the high jump by jumping over the bar while facing away from it.  I realize that he wasn't the first one to do this, but the style of jumping is called the "Fosbury Flop" so I will say that his technique is what made the jump standard operating procedure at all levels of track and field.

Since there was rarely much of a line for his autograph we waited until he wasn't busy so we could chat with him for a while and get him to autograph a few Sportscaster cards.  Not only did he let me son hold his gold medal from 1968, he also had his original jumping shoe that was designed by his coach.  What made the shoe interesting was that Fosbury quickly admitted that the shoe design did not work at all.

The shoe was odd since there was just one spike in the spike plate and it was in the middle of the shoe.  I think I have a picture of it, but I will need to search for this since it was about eight years ago.

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