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Jim Thorpe - Famous Athlete

Full Name: Jacobus Franciscus Thorpe; known as Jim Thorpe

Date of Birth: 28 th May, 1887

Died on: 28 th March, 1953

Country: The United States of America

Sport involved in: Athletics

Achievements made:

  • Winner of gold medal in the pentathlon event at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games
  • Gold medalist in the decathlon event at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games
  • Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963

Career: Jim Thorpe is referred as one of the most versatile athletes in modern sports. In 1907, Thorpe started his athletic career with the high jump event. Apart from the track and field athletic events, he was also engaged in sports like football, baseball and basketball. In 1911, he was nationally recognized as a promising football player. Thorpe won the All-American title in 1911 and 1912. Football was his favorite sport. However, he became most famous for his achievements in the track and field athletics. Thorpe participated in the 1912 Stockholm Summer Olympics . In the Games, he competed in the multi-event disciplines, pentathlon and decathlon. Thorpe won gold medals in both the disciplines. Other than the track and field events, he also participated in the exhibition baseball match during the 1912 Olympics. In the Olympics, rules regarding amateurism were very strict in those days. Professional players were not allowed to participate in the Summer Games. In 1913, when it was declared that Thorpe had played professional baseball before his appearance at the Olympics, he was stripped of his Olympic titles, medals and awards. The Amateur Athletic Union also declared Thorpe a professional. Once declared professional, he got offers from Major League Baseball teams for joining them. In 1913, Thorpe joined the New York Giants baseball team. He joined the Cincinnati Reds in 1917. Returning to the Giants later that year, Thorpe joined the Boston Braves in 1919. He played in the minor leagues of baseball till 1922. Thorpe also joined the football team of the Canton Bulldogs in 1915. Thorpe was never a member of a championships team. However, he played for six teams in his football career from 1920 to 1928. Thorpe announced his retirement from the pro football in 1928, at the age of 41. Thorpe also played basketball in his professional career. The great versatile athlete died on 28 th March in 1953. There had been several attempts to restore Thorpe's Olympic titles and awards. Finally in 1983, he was restored with the titles and medals. Thorpe was declared the co-champion with Ferdinand Bie in the pentathlon event. In the decathlon event, he had to share his title with Hugo Wieslander.

Performance at the Olympics: Jim Thorpe participated in the pentathlon and decathlon events in the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games . In both the events, Thorpe won gold medal setting world records. Apart from the pentathlon and decathlon events, he also participated in the long jump and high jump competitions. In the pentathlon event, Thorpe scored 4041.530 points and won with a margin of 400 points. In the decathlon event, he defeated Hugo Wieslander with a margin of 700 points and won his second Olympic title. Thorpe also qualified for the final of the high-jump competition, where he finished fourth.