Jim Thorpe during the 1912 Olympic decathlon (© Getty Images)
Plaque name: Jim Thorpe (USA)
Location: Stockholm Olympic Stadium, Lidingövägen, 114 33 Stockholm, Sweden
Plaque awarded: 22/07/2021
Reason: Plaque Category – Legend
James ‘Jim’ Francis Thorpe (USA)
28 May 1887 – 28 March 1953
The pentathlon and decathlon champion at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm.
Thorpe’s dominance in the pentathlon (7 July 1912) was almost absolute. Only in the javelin throw did he not take first place.
A week later (13-15 July) in the decathlon, the first time the event had been staged at the Olympic Games, he won in a world record nearly 400 points clear of silver.
Thorpe also finished equal fourth in the individual high jump (8 July) and seventh in the long jump (14 July).
His medals were stripped from him two months later when it was discovered he had received $25 playing minor league baseball in 1909 and 1910.
It was not until 13 October 1982 that Thorpe’s ban was lifted. On 18 January 1983, his gold medals were presented to his children.