Jim Thorpe finally gets justice from Olympics, 110 years later
After 110 years, Jim Thorpe has finally been recognized as the sole winner of the 1912 Olympics pentathlon and decathlon competitions.
For the past 40 years Jim Thorpe has been listed as co-winner in the Olympic record books in spite of his complete domination of both competitions. The man beat the field so badly that The King of Sweden declared him “The greatest athlete in the world.”
That’s right Jim Thorpe was the original GOAT.
After winning the gold medals at the Olympics Jim Thorpe was retroactively stripped of amateur status by the International Olympic Committee and his gold medals were subsequently awarded to the runner up in both events. Neither man accepted the medal.
That didn’t stop the IOC from altering the record books. In spite of all of the years of letting professional athletes play in the Olympics since then, they never once revisited the possibility of making him the sole winner again until now.
He’s finally been reinstated and the record books have finally been corrected thanks to the work of Bright Path Strong. The non profit group was able to finally get the Olympics to set the record straight.
Jim Thorpe’s story is one of the more impressive ones in the history of sports. He was a multi-sport star, playing professional baseball, football, and basketball. He was in the inaugural class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The AP named him the greatest athlete of the first half of the 20th century. He was the subject of endless books, movies and newspaper articles. He’s even the namesake of a town he never visited: Jim Thorpe, PA.
That’s right, a lot of people think that he went to school there or was born there, but the only actual connection he has to the town is that his third wife sold his body to the town so they could use it as a tourist attraction after he died. It’s actually kind of depressing, if you want to bum yourself out, feel free to read more about it here.
At least now, the Olympics have finally got it right.