Then flies arms raised high to cling to the sky, And hangs, legs in front on descent To collide with the sand, sending showers of gold Which crown and salute the event
Here the athlete, who must first be a sprinter, uses speed as a means to fly through the air. Top male jumpers can hit the take-off board at speeds of around 10 metres per second. Thanks to powerful legs and an elastic take-off foot (here relaxation counts) a long jumper transforms running movement into soaring flight. The event’s champions can fulfil Icarus's dream - with the aid of a mere run-up, they take off into a magic arc. The long jumper conquers an invisible barrier - distance.