World Sports Hall of Fame 1930: Arne Borg, Jack Dempsey, Bobby Jones and Paavo Nurmi

My additions to the World Sports Hall of Fame for 1930 are:

Arne Borg (Sweden – Swimming) – he set more world swimming records than any man in history with a total of 32 between 1921 and 1929. These came at freestyle at distances ranging from 300 yards to 1 mile. In 1927 he won European titles at 100m, 400m and 1500m freestyle and in that 1500m set a world record that stood for eleven years. He had won the 400m and 1500m at the 1926 European championships and took Olympic silver in those events in 1924. He finally took Olympic gold in the 1500m in 1928.

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Jack Dempsey (USA – Boxing) – one of the greatest and most famous fighters in heavyweight boxing history. He won the world heavyweight title in 1919 from Jess Willard, knocking him down seven times in the first round, and held the title until 1926 when he lost to Gene Tunney. In the rematch he had Tunney on his knees for 14 seconds but hadn’t gone to a neutral corner. Tunney recovered from this “long count” to win the fight. Dempsey had in 1920 won the first fight with a $1million gate when defeating Georges Carpentier. He won 66 and lost six of his 83 fights with 51 wins coming inside the distance.

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Bobby Jones (USA – Golf) – one of the greatest golfers of all-time.  He won 13 major championships as they were classified in his time.  His first was the US Open of 1923 and he added three more US Open titles.  He won the British Open three times between 1926 and 1930.  He remained an amateur throughout his career winning five US Amateur titles  and one British Amateur title.  That came in 1930 which was his annus marabilis when he did the “Grand Slam”, winning all four of the US and British Amateur championships and Open titles.  He retired from competitions following this glorious year although he played in the US Masters, the tournament he founded, each year.  In the Walker Cup he won nine out of ten matches that he played from 1922 to 1930.

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Paavo Nurmi (Finland – Athletics) – winner of nine Olympic gold medals, a record for any track and field athlete.   He won the 10,000m in 1920 and 1928 while in 1924 he won the 1500m, 5000m, 3000m steeplechase, individual and team cross-country golds.  This haul of five golds is a record for one games in athletics.  He won three other Olympic medals making a record total of 12 for athletics.  He dominated distance running in the 1920s and his training methods revolutionised the sport.  He set 22 official world records and 13 unofficial ones at distances from 1500m to 20km.  Perhaps his most notable feat came when he broke the world 5000m record just one hour after breaking the 1500m record.  In the winter of 1925 he set twelve world indoor bests in a tour of the USA where he won 53 out of 55 races.  At his peak, Nurmi was undefeated at distances from 800 m upwards for 121 races. Throughout his 14-year career, he remained unbeaten in cross country events and the 10,000 m.

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