Oklahoma Delegation Introduces Resolution Honoring America’s Athlete of the Century Jim Thorpe

Apr 22, 2021
Press

Washington, DC – Today, Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation introduced a resolution in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate honoring Jim Thorpe, of the Sac and Fox Nation, and urging the International Olympic Committee to restore his 1912 Olympic records. Lucas introduced the resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives and Inhofe introduced an identical resolution in the U.S. Senate. 

“Throughout our nation’s history, Americans have been inspired by heroic athletes who truly reach across the ages, memorializing how we remember sports’ greatest triumphs. Over 100 years after his historic Olympic wins, Jim Thorpe continues to be an inspiration as he broke international barriers in the world of sports and society,” said Congressman Lucas. “I’m proud to recognize Jim Thorpe for the hero that he is and I hope the International Olympic Committee restores his Olympic records to reflect the true nature of his accomplishments.”

“Jim Thorpe will be remembered as one of the greatest athletes of all time,” Inhofe said. “Currently, the International Olympic Committee fails to officially recognize his achievements – namely, his outright gold medal victories and the records he broke in the 1912 Olympics. It is time we restored the truth and the Thorpe legacy. That’s why I am introducing this resolution today alongside my fellow Oklahoma delegation members. My fellow Oklahomans understand the importance of recognizing the accomplishments of a great Oklahoman. It’s time we set the record straight.”

“When the Olympic Committee officially named Jim Thorpe a co-gold medal winner in the 80s to reflect Mr. Thorpe’s win in 1912, they finally honored his family with the medals he rightly won. However, Mr. Thorpe should be recognized as the only winner so the Olympic records reflect his achievement. I’m glad to join the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation in a resolution to make century old mistake finally right,” said Lankford.

“Jim Thorpe was truly an American champion and deserves the recognition he earned,” said Cole. “I thank Senator Jim Inhofe and Congressman Frank Lucas for leading introduction of a resolution that would finally restore Jim Thorpe’s outstanding Olympic records, recognizing the two gold medals he won outright as an American in the 1912 Olympics.”

“Our country would not be what it is today without the strength and resilience of many Native American heroes, including Jim Thorpe. Officially recognizing his record-breaking achievements in the 1912 Olympics is long overdue,” said Mullin. “I am proud to join the Oklahoma Delegation in introducing this resolution that sets the record straight for this great Oklahoman.”

“Oklahomans remember and recognize Jim Thorpe as one of the greatest athletes in American History, and for the Olympic champion that he was,” said Bice. “It’s my hope that through this resolution, cosponsored by each member of the Oklahoma delegation, the International Olympic Committee will decide to restore Thorpe as the sole gold medalist of his events in the 1912 Olympics.”

Wa-Tho-Huk or Bright Path, also known as Jim Thorpe, of the Thunder Clan of the Sac and Fox Nation, competed in the 1912 Olympic Games for the United States of America, even though Native Americans still were not recognized as citizens. He competed in both the pentathlon and decathlon, winning Gold medals in both. The International Olympic Committee stripped his medals due to his having previously received meager professional pay as a baseball player and erased his records from the record books. While his medals were eventually restored and returned to his family, his records were incorrectly entered as a co-gold medal winner, instead of his true status as a sole gold medal winner.

Full text of the resolution is available here.

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