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Jim Thorpe: World's Greatest Athlete

Join us for a fascinating presentation on the life of famed Native American athlete Jim Thorpe. Thorpe (Sac and Fox, 1888--1953) was the greatest all-around athlete of his age and probably any other. An Olympic gold medalist in track and field, he also excelled in football, baseball, basketball and lacrosse.Thorpe biographer Robert W. Wheeler will share stories about the athlete from some of the many Thorpe contemporaries whom he interviewed. Rare photographs and voice recordings of Jim Thorpe, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jack Dempsey, Burt Lancaster, and others will add drama to the presentation. The controversy surrounding Thorpe's Olympic medals will be explored, and Dr. Florence Ridlon will describe the quest—in which she played a key role—to have the athlete's Olympic gold medals and records restored. Rob Wheeler, creator of, will tell the story of why Jim Thorpe is buried in a small town in Pennsylvania that is named after him and discuss the movement to return Thorpe's remains to be buried on Sac and Fox Nation land in Oklahoma.This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition, Best in the World: Native Athletes in the Olympics, now on view at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. This exhibition was made possible with the generous support of Running Strong for American Indian Youth.
Length: 01:19:12


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