Beamon attended the University of Texas at El Paso, where he competed in track and field. Beamon is a legend in the track and field world. He first rose to prominence in 1967, when he won the AAU Indoor Title and medaled in the Pan American Games, both in the long jump event. Beamon won gold in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, jumping 29 ft. 2 ½ in., blasting the previous world record by nearly two feet. Beamon’s world record stood for 23 years, and he still holds the Olympic record. His world record jump was so incredible that it worked itself into sports vocabulary. “Beamonesque” is a commonly used phrase used to describe a feat that is overwhelmingly superior to what preceded it, referencing Beamon’s famous leap. Beamon was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1977 and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983.