The Jim Thorpe Games

The Jim Thorpe Games

The Jim Thorpe Games

The Stockholm Olympic Games will forever be remembered as Jim Thorpe's Games. Thorpe won the pentathlon, was fourth in high jump and seventh in long jump before tackling decathlon. He was competing in the event for the first time but still won the gold medal with a world record 8412 points, a performance so impressive that it would have been good enough to win a silver in the 1948 Olympic Games. King Gustav V, honouring Thorpe, said, "Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world." A shy Thorpe replied, "Thanks, King."

Thorpe's world turned upside down when it was revealed that he had earned 25 dollars a week for playing minor league baseball in 1909 and 1910, which were against the rules of amateurism. Despite Thorpe's apology, he was stripped of the medals. A tough life followed before he eventually died in 1953. It was only in 1982 that the ban on him was lifted and a year later, his gold medals were presented to his children.

Hannes Kohlemainen of Finland was another star of 1912. He won gold medals in 10000M, 5000M and 3000M team race and 12000M cross country race, launching a tradition of Finnish long-distance running.

If London set the ball rolling towards a compact, well-organised Olympic Games, Stockholm took it a notch higher, setting the standard for future organisers.

[] Did you know?

Women's events in swimming and diving were introduced at Stockholm 1912.

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