February 9, 2022 – Bright Path Strong is proud to present this case study to support the petition to reinstate Jim Thorpe as the sole gold medalist for the pentathlon and decathlon he decisively won in the 1912 Olympics. We thank the Doug Williams Center for working in conjunction with Thorpe biographer Robert W. Wheeler and Dr. Florence Ridlon, honorary board members of Bright Path Strong to bring this study to light.
The research provides clear data and historic context to highlight why the removal of Thorpe’s Olympic gold medals and his name from the official record book was illegal according to the rules under which he competed and partially motivated by racism. Given the overwhelming evidence and support for Thorpe’s rightful titles, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is being urged to correct this historic injustice.
“A century after his Olympic triumphs and starring in, co-founding, and serving as the unanimously elected first president of what became the National Football League, Jim Thorpe is still considered to be the world’s greatest athlete,” said Wheeler and Ridlon. “He was also a leader and champion for all minorities. Jim Thorpe lived in a dark time of American injustices, inequalities, and the poverty of the Great Depression but his talent and kindness shone a bright light on everyone he encountered.”
Bright Path Strong’s grassroots effort to gain proper recognition for Thorpe’s achievements continue with an active petition campaign, feature motion picture, and ongoing work with Ms. Anita DeFrantz, who is the first woman and first African American, to serve as a representative from the IOC to the United States.
“Jim Thorpe deserves to be a household name, highly regarded in every place that American sports legends are mentioned.” said Brandon A. Logan, Executive Director of The Doug Williams Center.
Nedra Darling, Prairie Band Potawatomi and co-founder of Bright Path Strong, and one of the film’s producers is quoted in the study: “Correcting Jim Thorpe’s achievements in the official records would not end the systemic prejudices that pervade our institutions, but it would send a powerful message of hope and liberation to Indigenous communities in the United States and around the world, whose past and present should no longer be invisibilized.”
and the Healing of Indigenous Soul WoundsDownload
For media inquiries, contact Nedra Darling at firstname.lastname@example.org and (424) 281-0031.
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