(Photo | Courtesy of Pierce Footwear)
On the afternoon of October 18, 1968, tall, lanky Bob Beamon stood alone at the head of the runway during the long jump finals at the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. After fouling on his first two jumps in qualifying, he was simply hoping for a solid 27-foot effort that would put him in contention for the medal he was favored to win. But despite years of training, nothing could’ve prepared him for what happened next: A jump so far beyond the world record, in fact, so far beyond comprehension, it created a term known as “Beamonesque.”
A half century later, the term is still used to describe a spectacular and remarkable athletic achievement. What’s more, at the ripe age of 72, Beamon is still pounding the pavement as the Global Ambassador for Pierce Footwear, Inc., inspiring athletes of all ages, shapes and sizes to do something Beamonesque of their own.
Led by President and Founder George Pierce, the Bend, Oregon-based shoe company has just launched a new generation of lace-less, tongue-less footwear in honor of the 50th anniversary of Beamon’s legendary jump — the BB50 Chicago Skyline Limited Edition and BB50 Youth LaceLess performance shoes.
“The BB50s are a giant leap forward for performance footwear,” said Pierce. “At six ounces, they are one of the lightest shoes on the market. Plus, our unique latching system offers comfort and fit that is far superior to typical lace-up shoes.”
The latching system and patented no-seam upper, pioneered by Pierce in 2017, provide multiple levels of tensioning with unsurpassed ease of access. Instead of constantly bending over to loosen and tighten laces and adjust tongues, BB50 wearers can have a custom fit in a split second, a benefit that’s especially appealing to impatient children, adults with aching backs, and people with disabilities.
“It’s a great training shoe for the young and the old,” said Beamon. “It’s so light, it almost feels like you’re wearing nothing at all.”
Thanks to the Pierce system and overall quality of the shoe, the BB50s have been chosen as the official footwear of the 2019 Special Olympics Summer Games to be held in Abu Dhabi March 14-21. Pierce and his team will be attending and outfitting more than 7,500 athletes representing 192 countries.
“We’re proud to be partnering with Special Olympics again and excited to help the athletes run faster and jump higher,” says Pierce. “Bob Beamon’s brother was a Special Olympics medalist, so he will be joining us there and providing his infectious inspiration to all.”
The BB50 Chicago Skyline shoes fit men sizes 9-14 and woman sizes 7-11 in widths ranging from AA to D. The BB50 Youth LaceLess shoes come in four colors with sizes from 3-10, assuring that almost anyone can wear them and start taking great strides to do something Beamonesque.
“To me, ‘Beamonesque’ means having great character and competitiveness that allows you to rise to the occasion and do something extraordinary,” said Beamon. “We know that when Special Olympics athletes — and all athletes — put these shoes on, they’re going to be thrilled and motivated to achieve their best performance.”