Jim Thorpe Celebrity Life
James Francis Thorpe was a professional football and baseball player for America and was also interested in the sport of basketball. The date of birth for Jim Thorpe is not known but it is estimated that he was born near Prague, Oklahoma in May 1887.
Jim Thorpe, as a Native American, was most famous for winning a gold medal at the Olympics for the United States of America. He was a member of the Sac and Fox Nation organization and was widely known for being a versatile athlete in many different sports genres.
In the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, Jim participated in the event as a professional baseball player, football player, and basketball player.
The birth, name, and the ethnic background of Jim Thorpe are not completely definitely known by him or those around him. It is however clear that Jim Thorpe’s parents were both from mixed-race ancestry.
Throughout his childhood, Jim was raised as a Sac and Fox member and like his parents, he also observed the Roman Catholic faith throughout his adulthood.
It was at sixteen years of age when Thorne enrolled into Carlisle Indian Industrial School that his athletic ability was recognized, encouraged, and coached. He was coached by one of the most influential coaches in American football history at that time – Glenn Scobey “Pop” Warner.
Amateur and Professional Football Career
Jim Thorpe started his amateur career in sports when he made impromptu participation as a high jumper at Carlisle in 1907. He was walking past a track and decided to participate in the high jumping event, it was in this event that the beat all the best of the school’s jumper by recording a 5-ft 9-inches jump wearing just street clothes.
Among his other sports participation during that time include baseball, football, ballroom dancing, and lacrosse. In the year 1912, he even won the intercollegiate ballroom dancing competition.
It was in the year 1911 when Jim gained nationwide attention for his football abilities. He was playing as a placekicker, punter, running back, and defensive back for his team Carlisle and was the contributing member of his team when he scored four field goals against Harvard, a team that was known to be top-ranked during that time.
Contribution to the Olympics
In the 1912 Summer Olympics that took place in Stockholm, Sweden, Jim participated in both the pentathlon and the decathlon. Thorpe’s versatile nature in sports earned in a place in the American pentathlon team when he won three events.In his first pentathlon competition on the 7th of July, Jim won four out of the five events that he participated in and placed 3rd in the 5th event which was the Javelin throw. His performance in Javelin was remarkable as he had never competed in the even before in his life.
Jim also took part in the high jump and the long jump events of the sports event.
In the first and the only Decathlon event that Thorpe participated in, he placed in the top four of all of the ten events. His outstanding performance in the Olympics and his defeat of local hero Hugo Wieslander earned him great respect worldwide.
In total, his pentathlon and decathlon event participation made him earn eight of the fifteen events that he participated in including two gold medals for his country.
Retirement and Post-CareerAfter his professional career as a footballer, basketballer, and baseball player Thorpe made his last debut in sports on the 25th of September, 1919. After retiring, he found it hard to provide for his family especially with the Great Depression period.
At the age of 65, Jim Thorpe passed away on the 28th of March after a heart failure.
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