By Johannes Josefsson
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Extra resources for Icelandic Wrestling (1908)
When the first round was declared over by McCoy, Josephsson asked Otagawa to wrestle with the upper part of his body naked, but the little brown man would not hear of it. Josephsson then tied the coat around him and strode to the mat. Otagawa struggled to get a hold on the coat near his antagonist’s throat. Josephsson struggled free and hurled Otagawa to the mat. Then a struggle took place near the chairs. Josephsson picked up Otagawa and pitched him over his shoulder. They clinched and swayed back and forth, but Josephsson could not pin Otagawa’s shoulders to the mat.
In 1908 he was also in the Olympic Games in England as a Middleweight Greco-Roman wrestler. This was a doubly impressive feat, as Josephsson was the first Icelander to ever represent his country in the games. Though he was sadly forced to withdraw due to an injury, 6 other Glima players accompanied him to the Games, and they performed 2 wrestling shows a night for the London public over several nights. They fought with each other, and would take on audience members for money, wagering that they could throw any man within 5 minutes.
From London, the troupe went to Denmark for a similar tour. This was the start of great journey for Josephsson and his boys. They would tour the world, not seeing their homeland for many years. The same Icelandic yearbook has an article from 1919 about Josephsson, heralding his return after 9 and a half years away. It tells how he had toured North America and all of Europe except for the Balkans (on account of the war, even back then) and was preparing to return to the United States. During this time, the British magazine “Health & Strength” featured him on its cover in January of 1911.