Dick Browning was a tumbler who learned much as aprotégé of fellow Gymnastics Hall of Fame Honoree, Charlie Pond, inventor of the Pond Twisting Belt. He actually gained notoriety when Life Magazinewrote about his feat of high jumping 7ft. 2 in. by approaching the bar with a Round-off, Flip-flop, and Back flip over the bar. At the time his height over the bar was a world record by 4.5 inches, but due to the two-foot take off, it was disallowed as a T & F record; nevertheless, it was listed in the 1st Edition of the The Guinness Book of Records(1955), and Dick Browning was deemed “ . . . the greatest tumbler in the world.”
Dickie Browning began his tumbling career at the age of 12. When his mentor, Charlie Pond, became the Head Coach at the University of Illinois (UOI), Browning accompanied him so he could continue his training which he did for his last two years of high school and then entered UOI as a freshman. NationalAAUChampionships: Gold-Tu. Browning was a senior in high school at this meet, and for the next three years won the tumbling event in every competition he entered except one according to Wright. General: Browning joined the U.S. Navy in 1954 as a pilot, and after retiring from the military he flew for American Airlines for 25 years.
Source: Jerry Wright author of Gymnastic Who’s Who, 2005. Introduction, commentary, and formatting by Larry Banner, Web Manager.