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Bob Beamon

Photo of Bob Beamon

Inducted: 1977, athlete

Born: August 29, 1946 - Jamaica, New York

Long Jump - 8.90 m

On October 18, 1968, Bob Beamon made track and field history by setting a world long jump record of 29' 2 1/2" that stood for 23 years. He broke the existing world mark by almost two feet, prompting Soviet rival jumper Igor Ter-Ovanesyan to say, "Compared to this jump, we are as children." An outstanding jumper while at Jamaica High School, Beamon set a national high school for record for the triple jump in 1965. At the University of Texas in El Paso, he demonstrated his versatility when he won the national collegiate indoor long jump and triple jump. In 1968, he emerged as a potential Olympic champion when he won the long jump at 22 of 23 meets, including the National AAU outdoor title and the Olympic Trials. However, no one was prepared for his extraordinary jump at the Mexico City Games. The following year, Beamon repeated as National AAU champion but competed sporadically after that. An Olympic comeback attempt in 1972 fell short and he became a professional in 1973. He was elected to the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983. With his wife, Milana Walter Beamon, he is co-author of his autobiography, The Man Who Could Fly.

Records Held
World Record: Long Jump - 8.90 m (October 18, 1968 - )

1968 Olympics: Long Jump - 8.90 m (1st)
1968 AAU: Long Jump (1st)
1968 Olympic Trials: Long Jump (1st)
1969 AAU: Long Jump (1st)

high school: Jamaica (Jamaica, New York), 1968
undergraduate: UTEP (El Paso, Texas)
undergraduate: Adelphi (Garden City, New York), 1972

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