• Short Summary

    Former Soviet high jump champion Valery Brumel who held
    the world record for 10 years in the 1960s and early 1970s
    died on Sunday (January 26) after a long illness, Russian news
    agencies and television said.

  • Description

    Former Soviet high jump champion Valery Brumel who held
    the world record for 10 years in the 1960s and early 1970s
    died on Sunday (January 26) after a long illness, Russian news
    agencies and television said.



    Brumel, 60, who died in a Moscow hospital, was best
    known for his Cold War duels against the American John
    Thomas-- the "Boston Grasshopper" -- at a time when rivalry
    between the then superpowers was as intense on the track as it
    was in world politics.

    Brumel burst on to the world sports scene at the Olympic
    Games in Rome in 1960 when he took the silver with a jump of
    2.16 metres, pipped only by his more experienced Soviet team
    mate Robert Shavlakadze, who both broke Thomas's world record.

    He went back home and through a punishing schedule and
    rigorous self-discipline established himself as one of the
    leading Soviet athletes of the day.

    He broke the world record six times in the early 1960s --
    his record leap of 2.28 metres in 1963 lasting for eight
    years.

    For three straight years from 1961 he was voted the
    world's best athlete and at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 he took
    the gold with 2.18 metres after the closest of duels with his
    old rival, Thomas.

    Disaster struck in October 1965 when he sustained severe
    leg injuries in a motorbike accident that effectively ended
    his professional career.

    On crutches for three years without hope of recovery, he
    was on the verge of a nervous breakdown when he met pioneering
    orthopedic surgeon Gavril Ilizarov whose revolutionary
    treatment helped him back to training.

    Though he never made world standard again he fought his
    way back to competitive athletics at home and went on to clear
    2.07 metres even while incurring another serious leg injury
    along the way.

    In later years he took up a writing career, co-authoring a
    novel, a play and an opera libretto based on his own life
    story.

    Despite their past rivalry, Brumel and Thomas were good
    friends and the two staged a reunion in Moscow several years
    ago.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA488YBBR6VVKZ0X70KMEI4LKD9
    Media URN:
    VLVA488YBBR6VVKZ0X70KMEI4LKD9
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    01/01/1961
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:14:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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