The Senate today approved a resolution commemorating the Centennial of Jim Thorpe’s gold-medal winning performances in the 1912 Olympic Games. Authored by Sen. David Holt, Senate Resolution 61 also celebrates Oklahoma’s rich Olympic tradition and the growing Olympic movement in Oklahoma.
Holt was joined in the Senate Chamber by two living sons of Jim Thorpe – Bill and Richard Thorpe, and Oklahoma Olympians including Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci. Holt was also joined by representatives of the Jim Thorpe Association, the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, USA Canoe/Kayak, and the University of Central Oklahoma, including athletes training in Oklahoma for future Olympics and Paralympics.
“I’m honored to be able to present this extraordinary group of Oklahomans as we celebrate our Olympic history and the excitement of the growing Oklahoma Olympic movement,” said Holt, R-Oklahoma City. “One hundred years ago, the world’s greatest athlete, an Oklahoman, recorded his greatest athletic achievement. Today, the Olympic movement in Oklahoma is stronger than it has ever been, and athletes with Oklahoma ties will be very well represented at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.”
In celebration of the Centennial of Jim Thorpe’s performances at the 1912 Olympics, the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, home of the Jim Thorpe Award, is featuring a special exhibit on the 1912 Olympics, featuring artifacts from the 1912 games. Also in celebration of the Centennial of Thorpe’s performance, the Jim Thorpe Native American Games will be held in Oklahoma City from June 10-17.
SR 61 also honors the achievements of the 15 Olympians in the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, including John Smith, Shannon Miller, Kenny Monday, J.W. Mashburn, Wayman Tisdale, and Michele Smith.
Holt noted Oklahoma’s Olympic profile has risen considerably in recent years, with the relocation of the USA Canoe/Kayak headquarters to Oklahoma City, and the development of one of the world’s finest venues for rowing and canoe/kayak competition and training on the Oklahoma River. The site recently hosted the USA Canoe/Kayak Olympic Trials. Holt also praised Conner and Comaneci, who continue to stage world-class gymnastics events and champion the International Gymnastics “Wall of Fame” in Oklahoma City.
Conner said it was appropriate that the state take the opportunity to commemorate Thorpe’s achievements and promote Olympic values.
“The Olympic values transcend the arena of sports,” Conner said. “I’m especially proud that Oklahomans recognize and share these values. With this event today, and with the upcoming Olympic Games in London, we hope to help inspire the next generation to dream big dreams, enjoy the journey and to live their lives mindful of the values of the Olympic movement.”