Olympic gold medalist Bob Beamon celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Long Jump world record he set at the 1968 Olympic Games at City Hall on Sept. 26. Councilman Robert E. Cornegy Jr. (D–Bedford Stuyvesant) led the commemorative ceremony to honor the athlete, who is now 76 years old, and praised his sporting achievement.
At 22 years old, the Queens-born Olympian established a new record in Long Jump, setting the record at 29 feet and two and a half inches. It would take two decades before the record would get shattered by Mike Powell in 1991. But for years, Beamon held that top spot, solidifying his name in record books.
The hall of famer still stands as a notable figure in sports. Outside of athletics, Beamon advocated and implemented several sports-related programming for vulnerable children in Florida, and his services benefited many youth, said Cornegy.
“Few hall of fame caliber athletes make as indelible an impact outside of their sport as they did as an athlete,” he said.
Beamon’s five-decade-old record stands at number two on the world record for the Long Jump. Cornegy added that Beamon’s work throughout his career is an exemplar of a passionate citizen thinking beyond his accomplishments.
“Bob Beamon is one of the rare individuals who continues to inspire people to pursue their dreams no matter the odds,” he said. “As an athlete, as a New Yorker, and as a private individual, Bob Beamon stands as an example of what it means to give back and make the most of your station in life.”