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Jóhannes Jósefsson

Full name: Jóhannes Jósefsson (-á Borg)
Gender: Male
Height: 5-8.5 (174 cm)
Born: July 27, 1883 in Hamarkoti, Akureyri, Norðurland eystra, Iceland
Died: October 5, 1968 in Reykjavík, Höfuðborgarsvæði, Iceland
Affiliations: Umf. Akureyrar
Country: ISL Iceland
Sport: Wrestling


Jóhannes Jósefsson was glíma champion in Iceland Well in 1907 and 1908 and holder of the Grettir Belt for these two years. He also wrote the first book on glíma wrestling in English in 1908 with the title Glima – The Icelandic Wrestling. In 1908 at London he competed as a middleweight in Greco-Roman wrestling, and also participated in the glíma wrestling demonstration. Together with his six Icelandic compatriots, he performed additional wrestling shows for money in London during the Games outside of the official events. Subsequently he also toured various other countries in Europe and even North America. There, he performed mainly in vaudeville and with the Barnum & Bailey circus, “fighting” against boxers, knife fighters, Native Americans, Japanese jiu-jitsu fighters and others. He did not return to Iceland before 1919 and only settled there for good in 1927, by that time a wealthy man. From the money, he built the luxurious Hotel Borg in Reykjavik, which was opened in 1930, in time for 1,000 year anniversary of the Althingi, the Icelandic parliament. Jósefsson managed the hotel for 30 years before retiring. During this time he was called Jóhannes á Borg.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1908 Summer 24 London Wrestling Men's Middleweight, Greco-Roman Iceland ISL 4

Men's Middleweight, Greco-Roman

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result
1908 Summer 24 London Wrestling Iceland ISL Semi-Finals Match #1 2 Andersson (SWE) decision, Jósefsson (ISL)
1908 Summer 24 London Wrestling Iceland ISL Quarter-Finals Match #2 1 Jósefsson (ISL) fall (2:30), Frank (SWE)
1908 Summer 24 London Wrestling Iceland ISL Round Two Match #3 1 Jósefsson (ISL) fall (12:10), Orosz (HUN)
1908 Summer 24 London Wrestling Iceland ISL Round One Match #5 AC 1908-07-20 Jósefsson (ISL)
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