« on: August 04, 2021, 04:35:25 pm »Message ID: 1360640
Jim Thorpe (1887 - 1953) was a Native American athlete from Oklahoma and an Olympic gold medalist.
If you look closely at Jim Thorpe's feet in this photo, you will notice that he's wearing different socks and shoes. (Sorry I couldn't provide the picture) This was not a fashion statement, but rather a desperate attempt to improvise after his shoes were stolen on the morning of his track and field competition at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.
According to Bob Wheeler, founder of the Jim Thorpe's Foundation and author of the biography, "Jim Thorpe: The World's Greatest Athlete", a teammate reportedly lent him one shoe and then Thorpe managed to find another in a garbage can. Since one of the shoes was too big, he had to wear extra socks. He went on to win two gold medals that day.
Here is how the Smithsonian described Thorpe's performance during the 1912 Olympics: (He won 17 events!)
"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 1,500-meter run by almost five seconds.
A week later the three-day decathlon competition began in a pouring rain. Thorpe opened the event by splashing down the track in the 100-meter dash in 11.2 seconds — a time not equaled at the Olympics until 1948.
On the second day, Thorpe’s shoes were missing. [Track coach Glenn] 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 110-meter hurdles. Thorpe blistered the track in 15.6 seconds, again quicker than Bob Mathias would run it in ’48.
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 1,500-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."
Here is the rest of the story. While Jim Thorpe is considered by some to be one of the greatest American Olympic athletes of all time, his records (and medals) are not officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Thorpe was discovered to have played some semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics, violating the IOC’s code of strict amateurism, and he was therefore subsequently stripped of his medals. The IOC’s decision in 1912 to strip Thorpe’s medals and strike out his records was not just intended to punish him for violating the elitist Victorian codes of amateurism. It was also intended to obscure him — and to a certain extent it succeeded.
It’s commonly believed that Thorpe at last received Olympic justice in October of 1982 when the IOC bowed to years of public pressure and delivered two replica medals to his family, announcing, “The name of James Thorpe will be added to the list of athletes who were crowned Olympic champions at the 1912 Games.” What’s less commonly known is that the IOC appended this small sentence: “However, the official report for these Games will not be modified.”
From History Cool Kids on Instagram (You can see his picture there) Positively adorable.