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Who was Dick Fosbury, the High Jump Legend?

Dick Fosbury made history in his sport with his "Fosbury flop", a back roll jump technique that involves going back first over the bar.
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Athlete performing a high jump in back roll (using the "Fosbury flop" technique)
American athlete Dick Fosbury revolutionized the technique of high jumping
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Richard Fosbury, known as Dick Fosbury, died on Sunday, March 12, 2023 at the age of 76 years after suffering from cancer. He is without doubt one of the most emblematic athletes in the history of sport, particularly in the discipline of high jump. Born in 1947 in Portland, Oregon, the American grew up in a medium-sized city and was not destined to become a great athlete at an early age. In his autobiography Wizard of Foz, published in 2018, he described himself as “one of the worst high jumpers in the state”.

Fosbury attended Oregon State University and then began his athletic career in the mid-1960s. In the meantime, he was discharged by the U.S. Army for a spinal deformity that prevented him from participating in the Vietnam War. It was in 1967 that he began to perfect an unusual high jump technique that would propel him to international stardom the following year.

Fosbury is a symbol of perseverance for all future generations of athletes

Dick Fosbury was more than just an athlete; he was an innovator who pushed the boundaries of his sport and changed the way athletes jumped. His technique, known as the “Fosbury flop”, involved jumping with one’s back to the bar rather than from the front, and passing over it in a sort of back roll. Although it was more efficient than the old jumping methods, this approach was at the center of controversy because it was considered dangerous and unconventional. At first mocked, sometimes ridiculed, Fosbury never let it deter him. Instead, he used the criticism as a source of motivation to continue to improve and develop over time.

Until then, the traditional techniques for clearing a horizontal bar were the straddle (belly facing the ground), the Western roll (sideways jump without rotation) and the scissors (passing one leg after the other). The landing was in a sandbox and the rules did not allow for head first. But the addition of a mattress to cushion the fall began to change that.

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Liverpool Fans File Lawsuit Over French Champions League Final Chaos

A 'mass fatality catastrophe' was only averted by the crowd's calm behavior and fans are now seeking compensation for physical and psychological injuries.
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Thousands of Liverpool supporters were left waiting outside the stadium, only to be tear-gassed

Law firm Leigh Day have filed a group injury claim on behalf of Liverpool supporters who attended the UEFA Champions League final at the Stade de France in Paris on May 28, 2022. The claim seeks compensation for physical and psychological harm caused by the chaotic events surrounding the match, which saw some fans assaulted, constrained by pressing crowds, tear-gassed, and left with injuries.

Leigh Day is investigating European soccer governing body UEFA’s legal liability for failing to ensure a safe environment for those attending. The eligibility criteria for joining the claim include living in England and Wales, holding a ticket purchased directly from UEFA, Liverpool FC, or Real Madrid CF, and having sustained physical and/or psychological injuries in or around the Stade de France that continued upon returning home.

The chaos that occurred during the 2022 Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris was the result of a series of events, including the failure of UEFA to adequately manage the crowd. Thousands of Liverpool fans were stuck outside the Stade de France because of alleged fake tickets, causing a build-up and delays to the match.

In contrast, the Real Madrid section was almost full an hour before the game. French police then used tear gas and pepper spray on some waiting Liverpool fans. After the match, authorities also failed to protect supporters of both football clubs from violent attacks by local thugs, which included muggings. UEFA and French authorities initially blamed ticket fraud for the chaos, but an independent review later found no evidence to support this claim.

Reds fans were initially blamed for the near-disaster and later found to be innocent

An independent report commissioned by UEFA has noted that only the composed behavior of Liverpool fans on May 28, 2022, prevented a ‘mass fatality catastrophe’ outside the Stade de France in Paris. The report explained that the European football’s governing body bears primary responsibility for the failures that led to the near-fatal event. The report criticized the French authorities for the lack of foresight over what was required to ensure public safety. Furthermore, the report called out assertions blaming the Liverpool supporters without any proper evidential basis. Overall, the independent report acknowledged the seriousness of the situation and highlighted the urgent need for UEFA and other stakeholders to implement all the recommendations made by the inquiry to ensure the future safety of football fans.

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Paris 2024 Paralympic Games Set to be a ‘Top-Level’ Sporting Event

Hosting nation France has announced its intention to boost Para sports to bold new heights with unprecedented coverage next year.
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Athletes are preparing for the Paris 2024 Paralympics

On 30 March, The Paris 2024 Board of Directors met to discuss the upcoming Paralympic Games. Organizers and stakeholders reaffirmed their commitment that Paris 2024 seeks to consolidate the Paralympics as a top-level sports event.

With just over 500 days left until the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, excitement is building. The event is scheduled to be held from August 28 to September 8, 2024. It is intended to captivate the public’s imagination and showcase incredible talent and athleticism.

The Paralympic Games will be set against the backdrop of the city of Paris. The sports event will host a total of 4,400 athletes representing 184 nations from around the world.

The competition venues are highly symbolic, with spectacular settings planned for the diverse Para sports events. For example, The Grand Palais will host wheelchair fencing and Para taekwondo, while Para archery is set to be held on the Esplanade des Invalides.

Paris 2024 has stated that it aims to support the growth of Para sports and also enhance the recognition and value of the Paralympic brand.

The media coverage for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games is set to be unprecedented for Para sports. An impressive 300 hours of coverage is scheduled on French television. In addition, awareness courses aimed at national media are already underway, in partnership with the French Paralympic and Sports Committee (CPSF).

This increased coverage and highly anticipated event will be another step forward in terms of public exposure and recognition for Para sports globally. As the countdown begins, anticipation is growing and expectations are high for what promises to be a truly unforgettable sporting event.

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How is Big Data Transforming the World of Soccer?

The use of data has become indispensable to the professional sports industry and in particular to modern soccer.
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Big data and advanced analytics are pushing professional soccer into new dimensions
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Big data has transformed several industries and economic sectors by proposing a more global multidisciplinary approach based on the massive analysis of numbers, variables and data. The world of sports is no exception. This new approach was initiated in the United States, particularly in baseball. In fact, it was illustrated on the big screen in 2011 in the movie Moneyball. Based on a true story that took place 9 years earlier, the script tells the story of how Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics, managed to build a competitive team by adopting a sabermetric approach based on baseball statistics to compete with the best teams that had far greater financial resources.

For the past 15 years or so, professional soccer worldwide has been devoting more and more resources to data recovery and analysis and artificial intelligence. All clubs now use a wide range of software, content providers and statistical tools to assist them on a daily basis, the most famous of which are Opta, Wyscout, My Coach Football and Catapult Sports.

The big data information that is gathered from soccer clubs can be used in several areas. First, to improve the performance of players and make them progress by offering more individualized training programs. This strategy makes it possible to adapt the sessions according to the profile of each player, taking into account their state of fitness and their ability to recover.

Big data and advanced statistics influence soccer actors on and off the pitch

By collecting and analyzing millions of pieces of data, physical trainers can monitor the fitness of players. This monitoring offers the advantage of preventing injury risks by providing appropriate medical assistance or determining the right time to rest a player and avoid injury or relapse.

Player monitoring is not only limited to the field, but also off it. Using tracking apps, staff members can collect data on players’ sleep patterns, nutrition and stress levels to optimize their athletic performance. In addition, data analytics can also provide more accurate information on opponents to create detailed profiles on the team’s style of play, tactics used, key players, strengths and weaknesses of their offensive or defensive game. This allows to develop appropriate game strategies before each match or make quicker and more informed decisions during the match based on the players’ performance in real time.

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