Our namesake, Jim Thorpe, exemplified the meaning of someone with a growth mindset. He truly showed grit and perseverance throughout his lifetime. He was born in Oklahoma in 1887 and lived in a one-room cabin with eleven brothers and sisters. His mother was from the Thunder Clan of Sauk and Fox Indian tribe. Jim's Indian name was Wa-Tho-Huk, which means "Bright Path." He was proud of his Native American heritage. He went to Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. There he played football for his school team. He was so good that thousands of people would come out to see him play and cheer him on. After high school, he went on to compete in the Olympics. He won two gold medals for the U.S. in the 1912 Olympics that took place in Sweden. His gold medals were for the decathlon and pentathlon. After the Olympics, he went on to play both professional football and professional baseball. He is one of only a few men to ever achieve that accomplishment. There are quite a few interesting facts about Jim Thorpe:
First, he was the only player to ever hit 3 home runs into 3 different states during the same baseball game.
He also had the ability to kick a football over 100 yards. He could stand at one goal post and kick the ball to the other goal post!
In 1950, he was voted as the greatest athlete of the 20th century by an Associated Press poll.
He was a short-time resident of Henderson, Nevada, during the 1950s.
A great example of his perseverance happened during the 1912 Olympics. Someone had stolen his shoes. Did he decide to just quit? No, take a closer look at the picture below. He actually found shoes in the garbage and won his gold medals wearing two different shoes. He even had to wear extra socks because one of the shoes he found was too big! We are proud to have him as our namesake.