AUSANNE (Switzerland) — Jim Thorpe has been restored as the sole winner in the 1912 Olympic pentathlon/decathlon in Stockholm — almost 110 years after he was stripped of his gold medals due to violations of strict amateurism rules.
Friday’s announcement by the International Olympic Committee was made in commemoration of Thorpe’s victory in the Decathlon. King Gustav V of Sweden later proclaimed Thorpe “the greatest athlete of all time.”
Thorpe, a Native American native American, was recalled to a New York ticker-tape parade. However, months later, it was discovered that he had been paid to play minor baseball for two summers. This violated the Olympic amateurism rules. In what was called the first international scandal in sports, he was stripped of his gold medals.
Thorpe is still considered the greatest all-around athlete of all time. In 1950, he was voted the Associated Press’ Athlete of the Half Century.
Thorpe died 29 years later. In 1982, the IOC awarded Thorpe duplicate gold medals. However, his Olympic records and status as sole gold medalist in the two events were not restored.
Bright Path Strong petitioned for Thorpe to be declared the winner of the decathlon and pentathlon in 1912. In the official record book, Thorpe was listed as a cochampion by the IOC.
Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, stated that it was a positive sign that a solution has been found thanks to Bright Path Strong’s great engagement. “This is an exceptional and rare situation that has been dealt with by the National Olympic Committees involved in a remarkable gesture of fair play.”
Thorpe’s Native American name Wa-Tho-Huk means “Bright Path” in Native American. With the assistance of Anita DeFrantz, an IOC member, the organization had reached out to the Swedish Olympic Committee as well as the family of Hugo Wieslander who was elevated to the decathlon gold medalist in 2013.
“They confirmed that Wieslander had never accepted the Olympic Gold Medal that was given to him and that he had always believed that Jim Thorpe was the only legitimate Olympic gold medalist,” said the IOC, adding that the Swedish Olympic Committee had also agreed.
The IOC stated that the same declaration was made by the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports. Ferdinand Bie was named the gold medalist in the pentathlon when Thorpe was removed from his title.
Bie will be listed in the pentathlon as the silver medalist, and Wieslander in the decathlon as the silver medalist.
The IOC announced that World Athletics, which is the governing body for track and field, had also agreed to amend its records.
Darling, co-founder of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nations and citizen thereof.
Fawn Sharp, president of The National Congress of American Indians, said that Thorpe was the first Native American to be awarded an Olympic gold medal for America.
Thorpe had 688 points more than the second-place finisher in decathlon in Stockholm and tripled his score in pentathlon.
King Gustav V said to Thorpe during the closing ceremony: “Sir. You are the greatest athlete of the world.”