Diving Medal
Brora Heritage Centre

This special medal reveals the story of an unusual visitor to Brora during the town’s second ‘Highland Gathering’ in 1908.

The day featured all the usual Highland Games activities, but there were a few other unusual attractions, such as pushball, wrestling on horseback and a balaclava melee. One of the main attractions of the day, however, was the performance of Hjalmar Johansson from Sweden.

Three weeks earlier, Johansson had won an Olympic gold medal in London for 10m high diving. Johansson’s magnificent exhibition of diving that day in Brora was described as ‘Perhaps the best item of the whole day’s proceedings…’.

The Olympic champion enthralled the crowds by diving from the 10m high road bridge three times and the 20m high railway bridge once. It was for these spectacular feats that he was awarded this special medal, almost certainly sourced from, and inscribed by, the Brora jeweller and watchmaker, Andrew Paul. Johansson’s great-nephew donated the medal to the museum in Brora in 2014.

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Date: 1908
Materials : Metal
Size : 3.5cm x 2cm

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