Dick Fosbury is most well known as an Olympic champion, for jumping backwards over a high bar, and winning an Olympic Gold Medal in the process. His revolutionary technique, known as the
Fosbury Flop, is now used by all elite high jumpers.
But his story doesn’t start -or end- there: Dick was born in March 1947 in Portland, Oregon, and grew up in Medford. Dad drove a logging truck and Mom was a teacher, and his great-grandparents were Idaho pioneers. He played basketball, ran track and he jumped. The Flop was born on the infield of Medford High during Dick’s high schools years and by the time he graduated in 1965 it had earned him a scholarship to Oregon State.
During his junior year at OSU, Dick made the 1968 US Olympic Team and came back from the Olympic Games in Mexico City with a gold medal and the American and Olympic records with his jump of 7 feet 4 ¼ inches.
He has been inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame, the Oregon Hall of Fame, the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame, and the World Humanitarian Hall of Fame located in Boise.
He has served as a Vice President of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Association for the past 8 years, currently serves as Treasurer, and founded the Idaho Chapter of Olympians in 2007. He is Past President of the World Olympians Association. Dick has been teaching at clinics and Track Camps around the world for over 25 years and is the Honorary Chairman of the Simplot Games held in Pocatello each February for the past 35 years.
After graduating from Oregon State in 1972 with a BS in Civil Engineering, Dick moved to Blaine County in 1977 and formed Sawtooth Engineers, now Galena Engineering, with his partner Jim Koonce. Dick was president of Galena Engineering until his retirement in 2011. During his Engineering career, Dick served as City Engineer for the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley and oversaw the design and construction of the Wood River Trails and Sun Valley Trails for the Blaine County Recreation District. The trail system is a bike path and paved running path with around 300,000 yearly uses. He was appointed to the Ketchum Area Rapid Transit (KART) Board in 1988 and retired as Chairman in 2003. KART is now Mountain Rides, providing transportation to the Wood River Valley for employees in Lincoln, Gooding and Twin Falls counties.
Dick is currently a Blaine County Planning and Zoning Commissioner and is chairing Blaine County’s Comprehensive Plan Update. Dick has recently joined the Board of Directors of the Wood River YMCA and is chairing the 'So Much More' campaign this winter.
Dick raised a family in Ketchum with two step daughters, Stephanie Thomas (Phipps) and Kristin Thomas (Thompson), and a son, Erich. He is very proud of his five grandchildren. He is married to
Dr. Robin Tomasi and enjoys working on their 20 acre farm just south of Bellevue, growing hay and caring for the horses. Dick has stayed active and loves to hike, run, and mountain bike on
Idaho’s mountain trails, with its clean air, blue skies, and starry nights.
Dick’s Olympic experience impacted him most importantly because of the values of Olympism which have become the creed he lives by. Integrity, determination, teamwork, hard work are just some of the ingredients of a successful athletic career, all of which have help to mold Dick Fosbury as a person and have guided him throughout his life.