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2 - Shedding Fresh Light on the History of the Butterfly Stroke

from Part I - Sports

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2021

Edward A. Wasserman
Affiliation:
University of Iowa
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Summary

Since the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, the High Jump has never been the same. That’s when Dick Fosbury accomplished the fabulous feat of sailing over the crossbar headfirst and backward to earn his coveted Gold Medal! Today, we take it for granted that Fosbury’s Flop has always been the “gold standard” style in the sport. But, it wasn’t. The “scissors” and the “straddle” jumps had been the two dominant styles. How did Fosbury develop this ungainly technique? Was it a stroke of genius? Did he experience a flash of insight – a so-called eureka moment? Was this revolutionary style his and his alone? How did Fosbury’s technique acquire its catchy alliterative moniker? The answers to these questions are quite surprising and force us to consider behavioral innovations such as Fosbury’s from an altogether different perspective – one that applies a natural science approach to both innovative and everyday behavior.

Type
Chapter
Information
As If By Design
How Creative Behaviors Really Evolve
, pp. 28 - 38
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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References

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Barney, D. E. and Barney, R. K. (2008). A Long Night’s Journey into Day. Journal of Olympic History, 16, 1225.Google Scholar
Bartlett, J. (2015, April 16). How Much Should We Trust Wikipedia? The Daily Telegraph. www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/wikipedia/11539958/How-much-can-we-trust-Wikipedia.htmlGoogle Scholar
Buchanan, J. (2017, May 25). The Butterfly: A Complex History for a Complex Stroke. Swimming World. www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/the-butterfly-a-complex-history-for-a-complex-stroke/Google Scholar
Doezema, M. (2016, August 11). The Murky History of the Butterfly Stroke. The New Yorker. www.newyorker.com/news/sporting-scene/the-murky-history-of-the-butterfly-strokeGoogle Scholar
Larcom, G. C. Jr. (1936, October). Frog, Butterfly, and Dolphin. Esquire. www.ishof.org/assets/1936-history-of-swimming-stokes.pdfGoogle Scholar
Weber, I. B. (1979, September 22). Too Bad the Fieldhouse Pool Can’t Tell Its Story. Iowa City Press Citizen.Google Scholar

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