Donald Dinnie: “The Nineteenth Century’s Greatest Athlete”

Posted on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 by John Wood

Donald Dinnie

Donald Dinnie, the Scottish strongman, wrestler and Highland Games athlete has been widely recognized as “The Nineteenth Century’s Greatest Athlete.” It’s not hard to understand why, Dinnie excelled in nearly every sporting event he took part in whether running, hurdles, the long jump, hammer throwing, putting the stone, caber tossing and wrestling (just to name a few.) Over his career, Dinnie took part in over 11,000 different competitions, among them, the Scottish Highland Games Championships, of which he won for two decades straight: every year from 1856 through 1876.

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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

William Beattie

Posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 by John Wood

William Beattie lifting two blockweights

“The Scottish Apollo” William Beattie is shown here doing a bent-press with a pair of what are most likely 56-pound block weights. It should be noted that he fist swung them up to that position which is a fantastic feat of grip strength in holding the blocks together.  Beatties was also fond of juggling these weights.

Unsurprisingly, Beattie was one of the many students of William Pullum and won the British Amateur Weightlifting Association (BAWLA) 12 stone Championship in 1929. Beattie went on to perform feats of strength and acrobatics with several circuses.