Jim Thorpe – Indian and sports hero
This year's summer exhibition at the museum will focus on the Olympic Jubilee 2012 and in particular on Jim Thorpe, whose memory lives on, both in the world of sports and among the indigenous people of North America.
One of the great sensations during the Summer Olympics in Stockholm in 1912 was the American Jim Thorpe who took gold in both pentathlon and decathlon. Jim Thorpe was part Indian from the Sac and Fox Indian Territory in Oklahoma where he grew up. During his time at the Indian school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, he developed into a promising and versatile athlete. At the age of 24, Jim Thorpe was selected for the American Olympic team and went on to become a huge success in Stockholm. At the medal ceremony, King Gustav V proclaimed, 'You Sir, are the greatest athlete in the world'. Today, the same words can be found on the memorial monument to Jim Thorpe in the Pennsylvanian town named after him.
Due to stringent Olympic amateur rules, Jim Thorpe was later stripped of his Olympic medals when it was discovered that he had been paid a modest sum of money to participate in a baseball tournament. However, Jim Thorpe remained an active and successful sportsman, especially in baseball and American football and was in 1950 awarded the title 'the Greatest American Athlete of the Half-Century' by The Associated Press.
The exhibition ran from 7 June – 28 October 2012.