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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Spotlight

Bamboo U.

A look at the day that was and at what lies ahead at the Summer Games

August 03, 1996|Associated Press

Rafer Johnson, winner of the 1960 Olympic decathlon, congratulated 1996 champion Dan O'Brien on his accomplishment but was quick to point out that some things have changed in 36 years.

"We used bamboo poles," Johnson said. "These guys don't know what bamboo is."

Johnson cleared 13-5 1/2 in 1960 in the pole vault. O'Brien cleared 16-4 3/4 Thursday.

Johnson described the technique in the vault with flexible fiberglass poles.

"They ride it," he said. "They get on, tuck up and when it straightens out, they get off."

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