What does it take for a high jumper to clear the bar? An incredible combination of speed, strength, and technique.
And what ties together those elements? Physics.
Like most jumpers, Williams uses the Fosbury flop, a head-first, backward jumping technique named after legendary Olympic gold medalist Dick Fosbury. What's so special about the flop? It keeps the jumper's center of mass below the bar as the body soars over it -- reducing the amount of energy it takes for a successful jump.
"This phenomenon occurs because his back is arched," Brenkus says about Williams in the video, "placing his center of mass technically outside his body."