- Radio Times
- Review by:
- Chris Gardner
Oklahoma-raised Jim Thorpe was one of many young Native Americans sent to “civilisation” schools, where pupils were forced to renounce their Red Indian heritage. Right at the start, traditional clothes were confiscated and long hair lopped off. Nevertheless, Thorpe thrived on the athletics field and in 1912 won two golds at the Stockholm Olympics.
Later it transpired he had played semi-professional baseball and for the second time was stripped of something that was rightfully his, the medals. It’s by no means a wholly gloomy tale, and is beautifully told, with Thorpe coming across as likeable if naive, a victim of nit-picking rules but to many a national sporting hero.
About this programme
The life of Native American athlete Jim Thorpe, who won gold in the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympics before being controversially stripped of his medals. The sportsman also played professional baseball for the New York Giants, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Braves, and was so successful in American football the Associated Press named him the greatest player in the game's history, but he died in near poverty three years later in 1953.
Cast and crew
- Mark Whitaker