Jim Thorpe was born and grew up in Oklahoma. He was part Irish, French, and mostly Native American. Thorpe was a great-grandson of the warrior, “Black Hawk.”
By 1912, he was in his last year of Carlisle Indian school in
Pennsylvania. During his earlier years he was named for one of the finest track
athletes in college. He competed in
baseball, track, the Olympics, and college
His dream was really to be in the Olympics and win a lot of gold medals
in Stockholm, Sweden. With his
coach's permission he was able to compete in both pentathlon and
July 7, 1912 he won four out of the five pentathlon events, coming in third in
the fifth event. He even had
victories in the 200 meters, the 1500 meters, the long jump and the long jump,
and the discuss, by this time the fans of Jim Thorpe couldn’t wait until the decathlon.
Jim Thorpe ran, jumped, and threw summoning up every skill he possessed a few days after wining events in his first Olympics. His performance by now was well known and everyone knew once they saw him stretching that he was going to win! Thorpe’s breathtaking performance captured the spectator’s attention, especially the King of Sweden who claimed Thorpe was the greatest athlete in the world.
The New York Times, one of the leading papers in the United States, printed that “THORPE IS THE WORLDS GREATEST ATHLETE!” In the Times story, two noted physical-fitness experts gave their opinions: one said, “The world has never seen such a marvel of physical strength.” The other said, “No athlete who ever lived can possess such all around excellence!”
Thorpe returned to the United States, but his wonderful year was not yet
to end as he turned his eye on college football playing for Carlisle where he
scored 25 touchdowns Counting his field goals and conversions he scored an
all-star total of 198 points! He
was selected as the Greatest All-Around Athlete, and announced as the Greatest
American Football Player.
For the next 14 years he played professional football and baseball. Thorpe became he first president of the National Football League (NFL). Jim Thorpe was voted as the “All Around Athlete, and the greatest football player.
In track, Jesse Owens was first, but Thorpe came close to it and was right behind him in second. He would have done better but he never gave his full concentration to that sport.
One delay came to Thorpe soon after his “big year.” It was discovered he could no longer be considered an amateur athlete, because he was paid $25.00 U.S. a week for playing semi-pro baseball during the summer of 1910. Thorpe was never trying to hide the fact that he was involved with semi-pro baseball. He said afterward:” I was simply just being an Indian schoolboy and didn’t know that I was doing wrong… I was not very wise to the ways of the world.”
His gold medals
For more information visit: http://cmgww.com/sports/thorpe/thorpe.html