Liddell's 1924 Olympic gold on show

In the year of the Athens Olympics, a gold medal earned by one of Scotland's sporting heroes has gone on display in the National Library of Scotland's summer exhibition.

Eric Liddell, at the 1924 the Olympic Games in Paris, entered a race he hadn't trained for, after the qualifying heats for the 100 metres dash fell on a Sunday. His deep Christian convictions about the Sabbath caused the athlete to pull out of that race and opt for the 400 metres event instead. The decision led to a record-breaking triumph, a gold medal (plus a bronze for the 200 metres) and a story that captured the public imagination.

Sporting glories of yesteryear is one of the themes in our exhibition, READ ALL ABOUT IT!, which celebrates Scotland's cultural and social history as told by newspapers. Liddell's medal is one of several sports-related exhibits on show: you can also see early ballads about racing and curling, the report of the first Scotland-England rugby match (1871), and tabloid coverage of Euro-96 football games between Scotland and England.

The development of sports reporting over the years is the subject of an exhibition-related event on 15 September with commentator Stuart Cosgrove, Channel 4's Head of Programmes (Nations and Regions) and co-presenter of BBC Radio Scotland's award-winning show Off the Ball. See our Events page for details.

For further information, read our press release (10 August).

19 August 2004

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