Jim Thorpe, one of history’s greatest athletes and a victim of what many considered a century-old Olympic injustice, reclaimed his only decathlon and pentathlon victory at the 1912 Stockholm Games.
Thorpe, who excelled in a dozen or more sports, had dominated two of his events at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm but was stripped of his medals after it was revealed that he had earned a few bucks briefly playing professional baseball prior to his Olympic career. American officials, in what historians saw as a mixture of racism against Thorpe, who was a Native American, and a fanatical devotion to the idea of amateurs, were among the staunch supporters of his exclusion.
The IOC’s recognition of Thorpe, announced on Friday, comes 40 years after he brought back the winners of both events. But the restoration in 1982 was not enough for his supporters, who campaigned on behalf of Thorpe, an American icon who is particularly respected in Native American communities.
Athletes declared champions by the IOC – Hugo Weslander, the Swede who finished second in the decathlon, and Ferdinand B of Norway, who finished behind Thorpe in the pentathlon – expressed a great reluctance to accept their gold medals after Thorpe was stripped of the championship. His victories in 1913. The IOC said it consulted Sweden, the surviving Weislander family, and the Norwegian Olympic Committees before bringing back Thorpe as the sole champion for both events.
Bie and Wieslander will now be silver medalists in their events. Current Silver and Bronze medalists will not be reduced.
“This is an exceptional and unique situation,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “It was addressed by an extraordinary gesture of fair play from the respective National Olympic Committees.”
The decision to name Thorpe the sole winner of the decathlon and pentathlon was reported on Thursday indian country todaywho noted that Olympic officials quietly and lonely put him in the lead on the Games’ official website.
The restoration of Thorpe’s medals has long been a cause for Native American and other activists, who have renewed in recent years leads the petition And the Pressured the International Olympic Committee for change. Thorpe was a member of the Sac and Fox Nation in Oklahoma and attended Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, and his multi-sport exploits were legendary in Native American circles.
“This is a time to celebrate – Jim Thorpe’s Olympic achievements in 1912, and their full recognition by the IOC today,” said Nidra Darling, a Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation whose father was a longtime friend of Thorpe. “It’s been a long journey up to this point, but a very important one for us in the strong Shining Road movement and across the Indian country.”
Bright Bath Strong, Establishment Named after the original Thorpe, he has He led efforts to restore Thorpe’s standing.
“We welcome the fact that thanks to the significant involvement of Bright Path Strong, a solution can be found,” Bach said.
Thorpe’s exploits on the football field were legendary: in 1911, Carlisle Harvard upset The credit goes largely to Thorpe, who played midfield and also kicked four field goals.
Thorpe headed to the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm to compete in the decathlon and another now-defunct competition, the pentathlon. He won both, was welcomed internationally and joined the ribbon parade of Olympic stars on Broadway in New York. The Times reported, That Thorpe received the most cheers, along with Pat MacDonald, the lead bat who was a Times Square traffic cop.
But the following year, it turned out that Thorpe was making $25 a week playing junior baseball a few years earlier. Under the strict amateur rules of the era, he was stripped of his gold medals.
His amateur status was rescinded, and Thorpe began his career in Major League Baseball, playing off the field from 1913 to 1919 for the New York Giants, Cincinnati Reds, and Boston Braves. Notably, he switched to professional football in 1920 and played until he was 41 with six teams, including the New York Giants.
Thorpe died in 1953 AD New York Times obituary He described him as “perhaps the greatest natural athlete the world has seen in modern times.”