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Greatest-evers are always hard to quantify, but Thorpe is especially so, a laconic, evasive passerby who defies Olympic idealizing. A breakfast of champions for Thorpe was no bowl of cereal. It was fried squirrel with creamed gravy after running all night in the woods at the heels of his dogs. Try catching up with that. He was a reticent Sac and Fox Indian from the Oklahoma frontier, orphaned as a teenager and raised as a ward of government schools, uncomfortable in the public eye. Yet even that has a somewhat shadowy aspect. The International Olympic Committee stripped his medals and struck his marks from the official record after learning that he had violated the rules of amateurism by playing minor-league baseball in Phantomness has left him open to stigma and errors.
But he was nonchalant only about celebrity, which he distrusted. In fact, Thorpe was a dedicated and highly trained athlete. Her family disapproved of the match, and Thorpe was out to prove that a man could make a good enough living at games to support a wife. Point proved: They would be married in Photographs of him at the time verify his seriousness of purpose, showing a physique he could only have earned with intense training.
He was a ripped pounds with a inch chest, inch waist and inch thighs. He looks great. The physique was partly the product of hard labor in the wilderness of the Oklahoma Territory. By age 6, Thorpe could already shoot, ride, trap and accompany his father, Hiram, a horse breeder and bootlegger who would die of blood poisoning, on mile treks stalking prey. Jim Thorpe was an expert wrangler and breaker of wild horses, which he studied for their beautiful economy of motion and tried to emulate. Clearly the outdoors taught him the famous looseness of movement so often mistaken for lassitude.
The discovery of Thorpe at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, Stockholm SD cheating wives government-run boarding institution for Native Americans he attended from tobetween bouts of truancy, is a well-worn story.
In he was ambling across the campus when he saw some upperclassmen practicing the high jump. He was 5-foot-8, and the bar was set at Thorpe asked if he could try—and jumped it in overalls and a hickory work shirt. Carlisle, a hybrid trade school and academy, was devoted to the forcible cultural assimilation of American Indian children.
Those who knew Thorpe as a schoolboy received the purest impression of him; before he was a champion at his peak, or a guarded celebrity, he was just a head ducker with an uncertain mouth who would have been happy to hunt and handle horses for the rest of his life. He hated the shut-in strictures of school, and he bolted every formal institution he attended. He Stockholm SD cheating wives trust anybody. With students from 6 to college age, at its height Carlisle had an enrollment of no more than 1, pupils, yet on the collegiate playing fields it was the equal of the Ivy League powers, one of the more remarkable stories in American sports.
This was partly thanks to Thorpe, who won renown in football, baseball, track and lacrosse, and also competed in hockey, handball, tennis, boxing and ballroom dancing. At track meets, Warner ed him up for six and seven events. Once, Thorpe single-handedly won a dual meet against Lafayette, taking first in the high hurdles, low hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put and discus throw. The result of all this varied activity was that he became highly practiced in two methods modern athletes now recognize as building blocks of performance: imitation and visualization.
Thorpe studied other athletes as closely as he had once studied horses, borrowing their techniques. UntilThorpe had never thrown a javelin or pole-vaulted. Nevertheless, he managed second place. By the time Thorpe embarked for Stockholm aboard the ocean liner Finland with the rest of the U. Olympic contingent—among whom ed a West Pointer named George Patton and a Hawaiian swimmer named Duke Kahanamoku—he was in the peak shape of his life and spent a good deal of his time tapering and visualizing. This led to the legend that he was merely a skylarker.
I think that will win it. The s Thorpe posted in Stockholm give us a concrete answer: He would. Thorpe began the Olympics by crushing the field in the now-defunct pentathlon, which consisted of five events in a single day. He placed first in four of them, dusting his competition in the 1,meter run by almost five seconds. A week later the Stockholm SD cheating wives decathlon competition began in a pouring rain. Thorpe opened the event by splashing down the track in the meter dash in Warner hastily put together a mismatched pair in time for the high jump, which Thorpe won.
Later that afternoon came one of his favorite events, the meter hurdles. Thorpe blistered the track in On the final day of competition, Thorpe placed third and fourth in the events in which he was most inexperienced, the pole vault and javelin. Then came the very last event, the 1,meter run.
The metric mile was a leg-burning monster that came after nine other events over two days.
And he was still in mismatched shoes. Thorpe left cinders in the faces of his competitors. He ran it in 4 minutes Faster than anyone in Faster than anyone in —when he would have beaten Rafer Johnson by nine seconds. No Stockholm SD cheating wives would beat his score for another four Olympics. Simpson would run for USC in Without them, myth and hyperbole replace genuine awe over his feats, and so does pity at his deterioration from superstar to disgraced hero. The Olympic champion would become a barnstormer—major-league baseball player, co-founder of the National Football League and even pro basketball player—before winding up a stunt performer and Hollywood character actor.
In his later life Thorpe struggled to meet financial obligations to his seven children and two ex-wives, especially during the Great Depression. He worked as a security guard, construction worker and ditch digger, among other things. When he contracted lip cancer in he sought charity treatment from a Philadelphia hospital, which led his opportunistic third wife, Patricia, to claim weepingly at a press conference that they were destitute.
Jim has nothing but his name and his memories. He has spent money on his own people and given it away. He has often been exploited. He died there of heart failure in at age It was also intended to obscure him—and to a certain extent it succeeded. He refused to campaign for his reputation, or to fight for his Olympic medals.
To this day the Olympic record does not mention them. The IOC also refused to demote Wieslander and the other runners-up from their elevated medal status. Thorpe was merely a co-champion, with no numerical evidence of his overwhelming superiority. This is no small thing. It made Thorpe an asterisk, not a champion. It was lip service, not restitution. On this year anniversary of the Stockholm Games, there are several good reasons for the IOC to relent and fully recognize Thorpe as the sole champion that he was. Countless white athletes abused the amateurism rules and played minor-league ball with impunity.
After years of phantom contending, Thorpe should enter the record as the incomparable that he was. Continue or Give a Gift. SmartNews History. History Archaeology. World History. Science Age of Humans. Future of Space Exploration. Human Behavior. Our Planet. Earth Optimism Summit. Ingenuity Ingenuity Awards.
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Why Are Jim Thorpe’s Olympic Records Still Not Recognized?