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IOC reinstates Jim Thorpe as sole gold medalist in pentathlon, decathlon in 1912 Olympics

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Jim Thorpe, one of the greatest athletes in history, had his two gold medals from the 1912 Olympics restored by the International Olympic Committee.

Thorpe won the decathlon and pentathlon at the Stockholm Games. He was stripped of the medals in 1913 for violating the existing amateurism rules.

Thorpe played minor league baseball in 1909-10, earning $2 per game up to $35 per week, according to ESPN.

The Amateur Athletic Union in the United States deemed Thorpe a professional athlete, and the IOC unanimously stripped Thorpe of his medals. The move proved controversial, and the Native American community fought for years to have Thorpe’s wins restored as Thorpe was the first native American to win a gold medal.

The IOC Executive Committee reinstated Thorpe in October 1982 but ruled him a co-champion with Hugo Wieslander in the decathlon and Ferdinand Bie in the pentathlon.

This week’s ruling makes Thorpe the sole winner of the two events.

“This is a most exceptional and unique situation,” IOC president Thomas Bach said. “It is addressed by an extraordinary gesture of fair play from the concerned National Olympic Committees.”

Thorpe played professional football from 1920-28, retiring at the age of 41. He was a member of the NFL’s first all-decade team in 1931 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

He also played professional baseball with the New York Giants, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Braves.