2012 Bison Books paperback edition

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The World's "Most Wonderful Athlete" Goes Around the World

The Brits have an acute sense of history that we Americans can only envy. A year in advance of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the busy BBC has been all over the story of Jim Thorpe's incredible performance 100 years ago (almost) at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm.  I've done two lengthy interviews, one in person (see my previous blog post on that) for a BBC Radio 2 series that will air next spring, the other by phone from London for BBC World Service. Impressive, both of them.

1912 was the Fifth Olympiad of the modern Games. The Olympic movement was barely off the ground and plagued with controversy and in-fighting. Read my NATIVE AMERICAN SON to get a nice summary of the whole thing. 

Here is the first of the two Thorpe-related radio shows to air, so far, from across the pond: BBC World Service is the 24/7 show that broadcasts in 27 languages to 180 million people around the planet.  It's a fitting audience size -- and recognition -- for the finest multi-sport athlete the world has ever seen or ever will see. You'll hear me talking about Thorpe. More importantly, you'll hear the pleasant, relaxed Thorpe himself, from a rare radio broadcast.