Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jim Thorpe

Question: who was the greatest athlete ever?
Answer: there is, of course, no definitive answer to that question, but a good candidate for that title would be Jim Thorpe. 

Thorpe was an absolute legend of track and field, baseball, and football. Here are some Jim Thorpe athletics facts, some of which aren't true:

In the 1912 olympics, he won two gold medals for the decathlon and the pentathlon. He won eleven out of the combined fifteen events, and outscored his closest rivals by colossal margins. He could run a 10-flat 100 meter dash, and could high-jump 6'5" (2" off the world record of the time).

He played professional basketball, baseball, and football, and didn't retire from the NFL until he was 41.

Thorpe was an excellent concert violinist. He spent one summer touring simultaneously with the Tulsa philharmonic orchestra and the Carlisle Cougars (a minor-league baseball team).

In 1913 they found out that Thorpe used to get paid $2 a game to play baseball during the summer, and they took away his medals due to the amateurism rule in the Olympics. His medals were re-instated by the IOC in 1983, 30 years after his death.

Thorpe was famous for his ferocious appetite. He once ate 37 hard boiled eggs, and was rumored to have been the inspiration for the famous egg-eating scene in Cool Hand Luke.

While in college, Thorpe competed in track and field, football, baseball, lacrosse, and ballroom dance. He won the inter-collegiate ballroom dance championships in 1912 -- THE SAME YEAR HE WON THE OLYMPICS.

He kicked a 95-yard, wind-assisted punt. Enough Said.

Thorpe once hit 3 home runs into 3 different states in the same game. During a semi-pro baseball game in a ballpark on the Texas-Oklahoma-Arkansas border, he hit his first homer over the leftfield wall with the ball landing in Oklahoma, his second homer over the rightfield wall into Arkansas and his third homer of the game was an inside-the-park home run in centerfield, which was in Texas!

Question: why did I bring this up?
Answer: because we're staying in a town named after Jim Thorpe in between Nats and Philly. It's really rad (despite the sweltering heat and humidity). See for yourself.

1 comment:

Martin Criminale said...

Wow, more cool, untrue facts from Bantam Arborial Bovines. This blog is the bomb.

Good luck in your next race! And enjoy the heat, here in Seattle it's still wet and in the upper 50s but hopefully it will hit 70 this weekend.