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High Jump

  • Date Submitted: 11/20/2011 06:59 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.2 
  • Words: 2127
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Watching athletes jump over a bar set higher than their own height has provided thrills for spectators since early Greek times.   While the goal of high jumping, the sport shown on this U.S.   stamp, has remained the same over centuries, the types and styles of jumps have undergone various changes.
In several of the early modern Olympics, beginning in 1900, male athletes competed in both a running high jump and standing jump.   The latter, which was believed to be more in keeping with jumping contests in ancient Greece, was eventually eliminated.   Today, all competitors approach the high-jump bar with a running start, usually from an angle.
Running, jumping and throwing, the skills early man needed to survive, evolved in athletics into the roster of track and field events.   They were the main contests in the ancient Olympics and still account for a large number of competitions in today’s Games.
Pole vaulting, the subject of this U.S. stamp, is one of the most exciting track and field events.   Using a pole 12 to 16 feet long, the vaulter tries to propel himself over a crossbar set at specific heights, without knocking the bar down.   The athlete’s natural coordination, strength and timing are tempered by his grip, his approach in the bar, the way he plants his feet at takeoff and his form during the vault.
The thrilling, often hazardous sport of cycling, which is featured on this U.S. stamp, is more than 100 years old.   It began in Paris, where the first ‘velocipede’ race was staged in 1868.   Cycling has since become a popular sport, particularly in the nations of western Europe.
Six cycling events were among the competitions in the first modern Olympics, held in Athens in 1896.   They included road races, time trials, sprints, and a grueling 12-hour race which has since been eliminated.
Some cycling competitions are staged on special tracks, while others take place on the open road.   Generally, track cycles have no gears or...


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