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English, 14.10.2021 23:00 carinaorcutt

Please read and summarize with 2 paragraphs this article.  Also tell me what made Jim Thorpe a great American athlete. Synopsis: Jim Thorpe was born in the end of May in 1887 in Oklahoma. An All-American in football at the Carlisle Indian School, he won the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Olympics before his gold medals were taken away on a technicality. Thorpe played professional baseball and football and sought an acting career after retiring from sports. He died on March 28, 1953, in Lomita, California.

Early Years And Schools

Jim Thorpe was born around the end of May in 1887, near current-day Prague, Oklahoma. Reports of his exact birth date vary. A child of Sac and Fox and Potawatomi Indian bloodlines, as well as French and Irish roots, he was given the name Wa-Tho-Huk, meaning "Bright Path," but his Christian name was Jacobus Franciscus Thorpe.

Thorpe learned to hunt and trap prey at an early age and developed his legendary endurance walking through Indian Territory. His school years were marked by the deaths of his twin brother and both parents. He skipped school often while attending the Haskell Institute in Kansas, the local Garden Grove school and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. 

As a student at Carlisle in the spring of 1907, Thorpe joined a track-and-field practice session on campus. He launched himself over a 5'9" high bar to break the school record. Thorpe soon became the star of the track program. He also enjoyed success in baseball, hockey, lacrosse and ballroom dancing.

However, it was football that propelled Thorpe to national fame. Starring as a halfback, place kicker, punter and defender, Thorpe led his team to a surprise victory over top-ranked Harvard in November 1911 and fueled a blowout of West Point a year later. Thorpe garnered All-American honors in the 1911 and 1912 seasons. 

Olympic Glory And Downfall

Named to the U. S. team for the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, Thorpe began by competing in the pentathlon, a combination of five track and field events. He won four out of five events and claimed the gold medal. A week later, he dominated the decathlon (a competition with ten events), winning the high jump, the 110-meter hurdles and the 1,500 meters, despite competing in a pair of mismatched shoes. Thorpe finished the three-day decathlon with a total of 8,412.95 points (of a possible 10,000), and Sweden’s King Gustaf V proclaimed him the greatest athlete in the world.

When he returned to the U. S., Thorpe was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City. However, a newspaper report the following January revealed that the Olympic champion had been paid to play minor league baseball in 1909 and 1910. At the time, the Olympics were reserved only for amateur athletes. Because he had been paid to play baseball, he was deemed a professional athlete and was forced to return his gold medals. His historic performance in 1912 was erased from the Olympic record books.

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