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Movement To Rectify Jim Thorpe's Olympic Records Continues

Public Domain
Jim Thorpe at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden

The Vice President of the International Olympic Committee is calling for Jim Thorpe's 1912 decathlon and pentathlon wins to be restored.

Anita De Frantz wrote in a Washington Post op-ed last week that stripping Jim Thorpe of his Olympic gold medals was "one of the most egregious miscarriages of justice in sports history."

Despite setting records, Thorpe's name was stripped from the Olympic history books because he played minor league baseball in the summers of 1909 and 1910, prior to competing in the 1912 Olympics. The committee didn't allow athletes to participate in any sport for pay.

While the IOC eventually reinstated Thorpe in 1982 and later presented his family with duplicate medals, the Sac and Fox Nation citizen is still listed as a co-champion in the events he won.

Last July, the National Congress of American Indians and several descendants of Jim Thorpe launched an online petition called "Take Back What Was Stolen" to restore Thorpe's legacy. The petition is about 30,000 signatures short of it's goal of 100,000.


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Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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