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August 9, 2012

Why Are Jim Thorpe’s Olympic Records Still Not Recognized?


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. Thorpe left cinders in the faces of his competitors. He ran it in 4 minutes 40.1 seconds. Faster than anyone in 1948. Faster than anyone in 1952. Faster than anyone in 1960 — when he would have beaten Rafer Johnson by nine seconds. No Olympic decathlete, in fact, could beat Thorpe’s time until 1972. As Neely Tucker of the Washington Post pointed out, even today’s reigning gold medalist in the decathlon, Bryan Clay, would beat Thorpe by only a second. -- Smithsonian Magazine

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 9, 2012 12:58 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Thorpe was an amazing, amazing athlete at every single thing he did. He was Bo Jackson before Bo was even a gleam in his father's eye, and was ten times the athlete. He was great at everything he did and with modern training and equipment would have shattered every record he went up against.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at August 9, 2012 2:26 PM

Maybe he was RBSH. You know that's just not sensitive. That's why the disgraced burg of Mauch Chunk was renamed.

Posted by: Peccable at August 10, 2012 5:20 AM

Maybe he was RBSH. You know that's just not sensitive. That's why the disgraced burg of Mauch Chunk was renamed.

Posted by Peccable at August 10, 2012 5:20 AM

OK, I give up. Whassat?

Posted by: Rob De Witt at August 10, 2012 1:19 PM

More importantly, were Thorpe around today he'd be getting paid for Olympic participation. Or maybe that's the problem, for Olympic officials don't want anybody reminding them of their hypocrisy.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg at August 10, 2012 2:48 PM

Thorpe's medals were restored, long after his death, of course. His records should be as well, to honor the memory of the man who may have been the greatest all-around athlete ever. And yes, the hypocrisy of the Olympic movement and its bureaucracy has been there from the start. It has manifested itself in different ways over the years, but it's always been present.

Posted by: waltj at August 10, 2012 8:57 PM

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