Biography of Famous Olympic Track and Field Athlete Jim Thorpe

About the biography of the famous olympic track and field athlete Jim Thorpe, history and information.

Jim Thorpe

In 1913 the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) deprived Big Jim Thorpe of his amateur status and returned his 1912 Olympic records and trophies to Stockholm. He had played baseball for money in 1909-1910 and this made him a professional athlete, they said.

After decades of entreaty, the AAU restored Jim Thorpe's amateur standing in 1973, 20 years after his death. This historic move paved the way for the return of the prizes the great Indian athlete had won 60 years before.

Born in 1888 near Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma, James Francis Thorpe was a member of the Sac and Fox tribe. In 1904 he enrolled at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania and by 1912 had achieved status as a superstar for his accomplishments in football and track.

Jim was not a one-man track squad, despite popular myth. Coach Pop Warner's team was small but talented. Against Lafayette, however, Jim led a 7-man squad to victory by winning 6 of the 7 events he entered.

It was only natural that he should enter the decathlon, pentathlon, high jump, and long jump in the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games. He won the decathlon and pentathlon with shocking ease; he finished 4th in the high jump and 7th in the long jump.

His Marks:

Pentathlon: First: 200-m. (22.9); long jump (23'2 1/4"); discus (116'8 1/4"); 1500-m. (4: 44.8). Third: javelin (153'2 3/4").

Decathlon: First: 1500-m. (4:40.1); 110-m. high hurdles (15.6); high jump (6'1 1/2"); shot put (42'3 1/4"). Third: long jump (22'3 1/4"); discus (121'3 3/4"); tie for pole vault (10'7 3/4"); tie for 100-m. dash (11.2). Fourth: 400-m. (52.2); javelin (149'11").

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