Top Ten Olympic Scandals and Tragedies

1 – Jim Thorpe Stripped Of Medals after Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden (1912)

ROL / Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Jim Thorpe was a gifted athlete who excelled in track and field endeavors, such as the demanding pentathlon and decathlon events. During the Olympics, he won two gold medals, and participated in many events. The King of Sweden presented him with his prizes, and deemed him to be “the greatest athlete in the world.”

Scandal followed the Oklahoma-born superstar as it was discovered that he was not an amateur athlete: he had played baseball for pay in the past. Thorpe was stripped of his medals and disgraced in front of the entire world. He went on to play pro football in the States.

Thorpe’s achievements were so great, however, that, in 1982, the IO restored his medals to his family, and reinstated his athletic records. Unfortunately, Thorpe had already passed on when this happened. In 1999, Thorpe was posthumously named America’s Greatest Athlete of The Century.

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