Poster - Jim Thorpe (Wa-Tho-Huk) | Syracuse Cultural Workers

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Poster - Jim Thorpe (Wa-Tho-Huk)

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P810OL
New
$300.00

James Francis "Jim" Thorpe 
Wa-tho-huck (Bright Path)
Sac and Fox Nation

Born: May 28, 1888 in Prague, Oklahoma 
Died: March 28.1953 in Lomita, California

Oren Lyons ©1976

A member of the Sac and Fox Nations (1887-1953) Thorpe was the greatest athlete of the 20th century.

Unknown to most people, on the last day of the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, someone stole Jim Thorpe's track shoes minutes before the beginning of the 1500 meter race, the final event of the decathlon. In desperation he found a pair of mismatched shoes in the cast off bins, one too small and one too large. He put on extra socks to make the large one fit and squeezed his foot into the smaller one. Determinedly Jim went on to win the race in world record time and clinch the gold medal. Speculation still runs rampant about who stole his shoes.

Jim Thorpe's medals were illegally taken away more than seven months after his wins because he had played semi-pro baseball for expense money at the request of his coach Pop Warner over the summer of 1909 and 1910. Avery Brundage, who was the expected US winner for the decathlon and pentathlon did not receive a medal for his efforts. He later became the president of the International Olympic Committee and during his lengthy tenure (20 years), strongly resisted reinstatement of the medals and awards which Thorpe had won.

Jim had a twin brother who passed away at the age of eight. It's hard to imagine how the sports world, or the world at large for that matter, would have been affected if these two twin powers had grown to maturity.

As it stands, Jim Thorpe is the greatest athlete of the 20th century. He is the only athlete to win both the pentathlon and decathlon in the history of the Olympics. 
 

Attribution/Credit: 
Oren Lyons

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