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Jim Thorpe recognized as sole winner of the 1912 Stockholm Olympics

The latest change comes after a petition advocated declaring Thorpe the outright winner in 1912.

JIM THORPE, Pa. — Buried in a tomb at Jim Thorpe Memorial Park is the "greatest athlete in the world," Jim Thorpe.

For the first time in more than a century, he'll stand by himself on the Olympic podium.

The International Olympic Committee reinstated Jim Thorpe as the sole winner in the decathlon and pentathlon for the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.

"It makes us all feel great that somebody is finally getting the respect that they deserve, you know, after working so hard to be an athlete and getting his medals, so I feel really happy for him," said Barry Fong of New Jersey.

"I think it's great because he's an American hero," said Bob Wegner from New Jersey.

To gain perspective on a sports scandal that happened over 100 years ago, we went to the experts at the Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center.

"He was good at every sport — basketball, baseball, football, track and field. He even had a 200 average in bowling," said Karliene Zach, the manager at the Mauch Chunk Museum.

Zach says Thorpe was stripped of his medals seven months after the games.

The International Olympic Committee found out Thorpe was paid to play minor league baseball three years before the Olympics, violating the rules at the time.

"It was totally strict," Zach said. "You were not allowed to be a professional athlete in the Olympics until the 1980s."

Zach says Thorpe wrote a letter to the Amateur Athletic Union saying he played because he loved the sport, not for money.

"We have a copy of the letter over here of what he said, and he apologized, but they took the medals," Zach said.

Twenty-nine years after Thorpe's death, in 1982, the IOC gave duplicate gold medals to his family, but his Olympic records were not reinstated.

The latest change comes after a petition advocated declaring Thorpe the outright winner in 1912.

Until now, the IOC had listed him as a co-champion in the official record book.

People who live in the borough named after him say the announcement is long overdue.

"We're really proud to have his name because he was so good at every sport he tried. I think he should be named the greatest athlete of the 20th century," said Zach.

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