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  • Jim Thorpe: World's Greatest Athlete

Jim Thorpe, The World's Greatest Athlete: Official Trailer | PBS

Duration: 03:12
Program: Jim Thorpe: World's Greatest Athlete

Directed by Tom Weidlinger (2009, 86 min. USA) Jim Thorpe, The Worlds Greatest Athlete is a biography of the Native American athlete who became a sports icon in the first half of the 20th century. Beginning with Thorpes boyhood in Indian territory it chronicles his rise to athletic stardom at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, winning two gold medals at the 1912 Summer Olympics, his fall from grace in the eyes of the amateur athletic establishment, and his rebound in professional baseball and football. Thorpe retired from pro sports at age 41 just before the stock market crash of 29. He worked as a construction laborer before getting work in Hollywood as a bit part player. He became a representative for Indian extras in Hollywood, fighting for equal pay for Native Americans in the movies. In the 1940s he crisscrossed the nation as a public speaker advocating for Indian self-determination. Jim Thorpe, The Worlds Greatest Athlete is the first feature length documentary to be made about the man. It appeals to sports buffs as well as those interested in Native American issues, especially the tension between assimilation into white society and forging a separate Indian identity in the 20th century.

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Post Date: July 3, 2009