Long jump history dates all the way back to the ancient Greek Olympic games where it formed part of the pentathlon. At this time it was the only jumping event that was included in the games and as such it is one of the oldest and most important of the track and field events.
The idea behind the original Olympic Games was that the events were part of the training for warfare. The long jump event was originally included as it helped to train potential warriors for leaping over different obstacles such a creeks and ditches.
Originally in the event athletes had to run with a weight in each hand called halteres and they only had a short running start. As they prepared to make the jump into the pit they swung the weights forwards and pulled back in order to gain momentum. The pit was not filled with sand until in modern times and in the ancient games it was made with merely tilled soil.
It was also reported that music was often played when the event was being staged in order to allow the athletes to get into a rhythm with their running and the movement of the weights.
When the modern Olympics were instituted in 1896, the winner of the long jump event was an American by the name of Ellery Clark who jumped 6.35 meters. In 1935 Jesse Owens set a brand new world record in the long jump at 8.13 meters and this stood in place for the next 25 years. The current world record is 8.95 meters, which is an amazing feet. The current world record for women in long jump is 7.52 meters, which has stood for more than 20 years.
Long jump history along with that of the other track and field events of the Olympic Games has a long and interesting history whether or not you are a long jumper, athlete or merely observer.