Francis “Goose” Gosling
“Goose” was an Olympic springboard diver who represented Bermuda at the 1948 London Olympics and the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. He was also known for his community service; he was a decorated WWII veteran, founder of Young Life and served on Saltus Board of Trustees.
He participated in the first Bermuda Diving Championships in 1935 at a friend’s request to make up the required three persons needed for the event to take place. Having never dived from a 10-foot platform nor having heard of some of the dives he was supposed to do, he quickly took some lessons to get up to par.
He won the Bermuda Diving Championships in 1939, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950 and 1951.
While studying at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1939 season, Goose won a silver medal in the Eastern Collegiate Diving Championships.
In the 1948 London Olympics, Gosling finished 10th overall, which at that time was the highest placing by a Bermudian Olympian.
He competed in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics finishing 23rd, which Goose was said to be due to “waiting an hour between dives” and the aluminum diving boards.
Also well known for his work off the diving platform he founded the Bermuda chapter of Young Life, was a former member of the Island’s Olympic Committee, and was made a Member of the British Empire for his work with youth and sport.
Goose attended Saltus Grammar School from 1923 to 1938 and joined the Trustee body in 1960, which he served on for over forty years. His impact on Saltus was so great that the school closed for his funeral, something they had not done since the death of King George V in 1936.
A war veteran of World War II, Goose served in northern Russia in the 1940’s 1942 as a flight lieutenant flying convoy escorts and anti-submarine patrols with the 210 and 190 Squadrons of the Royal Air Force Coastal Command.
His military service earned him the honor of receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal and the Air Force Cross Medal, as well as a medal from the former Soviet Union.
He was President of Gosling Brothers until he was 65 and continued to work as a director until his death.
In 2004 he was posthumously inducted into the Bermuda Sports Hall of Fame.
He passed away in 2001 at 83 years old.