Throughout the first half of the 20th Century, Jim Thorpe was busy gaining his reputation as an all-round sportsman. Before trying his hand professionally at baseball, basketball and American football, Thorpe was a successful Olympian. During the 1912 games in Stockholm, Sweden, he took home the gold for the pentathlon and decathlon events – a remarkable achievement in and of itself. But what’s more amazing is just how he won this latter competition.
Back in 1912 the pentathlon and decathlon were relatively unfamiliar disciplines. They consisted of five and ten different sports respectively, ranging from running to throwing the javelin. Only the most adaptable athletes are suited to such an event. And so who better to represent the United States than Jim Thorpe?