In 1926, at the age of seventy-eight, Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny (1847-1935) executed a “double dive” with Otto Hagborg, who was seventy-one, at Highgate Pond, London.

Sir Claude participated in many different kinds of sports, especially steeple-chasing and ballooning.  I have written about his ballooning exploits.

Otto Hagborg (1854-1927) born in Sweden was an artist. He moved to London in the 1890s and helped introduce the sport of artistic diving to London. He represented Sweden in the 1906 Olympic Games in Athens  and came 12th out of 24 competitors in the conbined platform diving event. He was fifty-one years old and is the oldest person to have competed in either swimming or diving at any Olympic Games.

The Highgate Ponds, also known as the Hampstead Ponds, are three large fresh water swimming ponds on Hampstead Heath. The ponds were allocated for men’s, women’s and mixed bathing.  The men’s pond had a ten-metre diving tower, erected in 1893, the first diving stage in England. The first National Graceful Diving Competition was held at Highgate Ponds in 1895. The tower was dismantled in 1982.

A REMARKABLE FEAT. (1926, January 2). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 – 1954), p. 38. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from

HIGH DIVING AT 78. (1925, October 13). Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 – 1954), p. 6. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from