Faced with his final try, Powell visualized how he would succeed. Before the last jump, I knew what was going to happen the whole process. It was eerie. I saw it all again in my mind, but this time it was like precognition: the good speed on the runway, the good timing and good takeoff on the board, that super extra burst of strength. It realty was eerie. It felt like it was supposed to happen.
Sports Illustrated described Powell’s last attempt: He had meditated on the images of what he had to do, took four walking steps with his arms swinging loosely, gathered into a run, hit full speed as his singlet slipped over his left shoulder, struck the board hard two inches from the end, drove high off his left foot, performed a hitch kick with his head thrown far back, broke the sand in the vicinity of the nine-meter marker, swung right and burst from the pit thrusting his arms with what seemed righteous anger.
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What the magazine didn’t mention was the yelp Powell let out while he was airborne releasing the frustrations of a career into the sticky Japanese skies and the intense concentration, which turned Powell’s quantum leap into something out of the Twilight Zone, the gold earring in his left ear twinkling as he soared. It all happened in
When anyone tells me I can’t do something, you can be sure I’m gonna do it soon slow motion. I can remember every movement of my body, especially when I was in the air. In the air I remember thinking, ‘Soon I’ll be hitting the sand and the crowd will go Ooooh!’ Then it will be announced that I’ve broken the record.
For 30 seconds after his superman effort, Powell nervously wandered around the infield until the measurement was announced: 29 feet, four and one-half inches. He had demolished Bob Beamon’s indestructible record. Powell skipped and danced like a child, In your face! he snarled at Lewis, who looked almost bewildered.