Jim Thorpe Is Restored as Sole Winner of 1912 Olympic Gold Medals

Jim Thorpe, one of the greatest athletes in history and the victim of what many considered a century-old Olympic injustice, has been restored as the sole winner of the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Games.

Thorpe, who excelled at a dozen or more sports, had dominated his two events at the 1912 Games in Stockholm but was stripped of his medals after it emerged that he had earned a few dollars briefly playing professional baseball before his Olympic career. American officials, in what historians considered a blend of racism against Thorpe, who was a Native American, and a fanatical devotion to the idea of amateurism, were among the loudest proponents of his disqualification.

The International Olympic Committee’s recognition of Thorpe, announced on Friday, comes 40 years after it restored him as a co-winner of both events. But the restoration in 1982 was not enough for his supporters, who carried on campaigning on behalf of Thorpe, an American icon who is particularly revered in Native American communities.

Story and Picture credit. New York Times, Victor Mather and T