Bob Beamon takes a leap for the ages in Mexico City. He doesn't merely break the world record for the long jump, he shatters it. Not only does he become the first 29-foot jumper in history, he becomes the first to pass 28 feet. In an event where records are snapped by inches, Beamon breaks one by almost two feet.
The slender 6-foot-3 Beamon speeds 19 strides down the runway and ascends to a height of six feet. He passes 27 feet, 28 feet and, incredibly, past 29 feet. His jump of 29-2 1/2 is 1-foot-9 3/4 farther than the world record shared by Ralph Boston and Igor Ter-Ovanesyan. It is 1-foot-10 1/2 farther than the 22-year-old Beamon had ever jumped before.
Some credit the thin air at Mexico City for the incredible jump, but nobody else comes close. The record will last for almost 23 years, until Mike Powell breaks it in 1991.