Listen Live

LAUSANNE, Switzerland. — Jim Thorpe is once again the sole gold medalist of the 1912 Olympic decathlon and pentathlon.

The International Olympic Committee on Thursday reinstated Thorpe as the sole winner of both events. During the closing ceremony, King Gustav V of Sweden told Thorpe: “Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world.”

Thorpe won the events in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm but the IOC stripped him of his gold medals in 1913 after it came to light that he’d been paid to play minor league baseball before competing in the Olympics and violating the Games’ amateur rules of that era.

The decision has been controversial ever since, particularly among Native Americans.

“We welcome the fact that thanks to the great engagement of Bright Path Strong, a solution could be found,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement as part of Friday’s announcement. “This is a most exceptional and unique situation, which has been addressed by an extraordinary gesture of fair play from the National Olympic Committees concerned.”

Thorpe was a member of the Sac and Fox Nation and the first Native American to win a gold medal. He died in 1953.