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Jim Thorpe: Athletics

James Francis “Jim” Thorpe (May 28, 1988 – March 28, 1953) was an American athlete with Native American and European ancestry. He excelled in baseball, basketball, boxing, football, hockey and track and field.

Jim ThorpeJim Thorpe

Thopre won the pentathlon and decathlon during the 1912 Olympics but lost his Olympic titles for violating the amateurism rules because he was paid to play for two seasons of semi-professional baseball before competing for the Olympics. He played for the New York Giants (1913-1915, 1917, 1918-1919), Cincinnati Reds (1917) and Boston Braves (1919) but made such a bigger impact in the early stages of professional football. He was signed with the Pine Village Pros around the 1910s and the Canton Bulldogs in 1915. In 1983, years after his death, the International Olympic Committee restored his Olympic medals.

Greatest Sporting Achievements

Jim Thorpe won four out of five events in the pentathlon of the 1912 Olympics Games held in Stockholm, Sweden. Days later, he dominated the decathlon, winning the high jump, 110-meter hurdles and the 1,500 meters despite wearing unmatched shoes. He reached a total of 8,412.95 points after the 3-day event, the runner-up was 700 points behind him. After that event, he was declared to be the greatest athlete in the world by Sweden’s King Gustav V.

Why Was He So Good?

Jim Thorpe dominance was seen by how he did against athletes during his own era. What he accomplished in 1912 took decades to match.

What You May Not Know

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Profiles Extra

There are profiles of past athlete champions from a large range of sports. See also profiles of Olympic athletes and pages about sporting heroes.

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