Jim Thorpe

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“As the monarch placed the medal around Thorpe's neck this time, he declared the young man to be "the greatest athlete in the world”." (Smith, Jane R., 1997, p. 34). Throughout the history of sports, there have been a select few athletes which can be considered the greatest athlete of all time. Each sport has memorable characters, but only a handful would be in consideration for such an honor. Ask someone on a corner who the best basketball player ever is and you will likely get a response of Michael Jordan. He was good because he could play baseball at a high level too. Talk to someone about hockey, the name Wayne Gretzky may pop up. As good as he was at hockey; there is a slim chance he could succeed at another sport. Bo Jackson is a name that should always be in the top three in this category. He was an All Pro NFL running back and an amazing outfielder in Major League Baseball, but injuries cut his career short. There will always be an argument for many different players, but there is one person that can back up the title world’s greatest athlete and be able to back it with his resume. On top of being a stellar athlete, he was a national champion ballroom dancer. This man can be responsible for the term “superstar”. There has never been any athlete as dominant in everything he did as Jim Thorpe. “Here and there, there are some people who are supremely endowed. My memory goes back to Jim Thorpe. He never practiced in his life, and he could do anything better than any other football player I ever saw.” (Botelho, Greg. Roller-coaster life of Indian icon, sports' first star, CNN.com, July 14, 2004, accessed April 23, 2007.) The start of this storied career began at the Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, a school that was chosen not because of the great academics, but the outstanding varsity football program they had. News of Jim’s father’s death was received shortly after he was enrolled, so the university granted him leave from his studies, so he could go...
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