Jim Thorpe's Lost Gold (w/ Sports History This Week)

October 13, 1982. The announcement came from Switzerland, across the world from where Jim Thorpe was raised on Indian territory in Oklahoma. In his time, Thorpe was the most popular athlete in the world, winning two gold medals at the 1912 Olympics. But for a variety of reasons—including his Native American heritage—those medals were stripped away. But today, though Thorpe passed away years earlier, his children will receive the medals that their father rightly won.

In a special collaboration with our sibling podcast, Sports History This Week, we seek to answer... how does Jim Thorpe rise from an Indian boarding school to become “The Greatest Athlete of All Time"? And why was his legacy almost destroyed?

Special thanks to Sunnie Clahchischiligi, freelance journalist and Ph.D. candidate in Cultural, Indigenous, and Navajo Rhetoric at the University of New Mexico; and David Maraniss, associate editor at the Washington Post and author of Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe.

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