Sports: Football, Lacrosse, Track and Field, Baseball, Ballroom Dancing (Wait…does that count?)
Thorpe originally made his foray into collegiate athletics by embarrassing his school’s track team. He walked past the track, saw them practicing the high jump, and them bested them all. He was wearing street clothes.
After that he decided to be the greatest at another sport he was just winging it at. Too small for football (even by early 1900s standards) Pop Warner (the actual man, not the league) didn’t want Thorpe on the gridiron. He figured Thorpe would try, get walloped, and quit. So, the great coach he was, Warner let Thorpe give it a shot. Thorpe scored two immediate touchdowns, meaning Warner had found himself a running back. Then, for good measure, he also made him a defensive back, kicker and punter.
In his final year at Carlisle, Thorpe led the team to the national title. Said Dwight Eisenhower about Thorpe “He never practiced in his life, and he could do anything better than any other football player I ever saw.” Although that philosophy apparently worked for Thorpe, we still would not recommend it.
Furthermore, that same year, Jim began training for the Olympics. This is basically like you deciding on a whim that you’re going to be elected governor of your state.
By the time of the closing ceremonies he had two gold medals, though they were later revoked due the fact that Thorpe’s ability to accomplish anything he wanted made everybody feel bad.
Also he previously accepted money for playing baseball.