Jim Thorpe, a Native American and one of America’s greatest athletes of the twentieth century, came home a hero after winning gold medals in the traditional Pentathlon and Decathlon events at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden. Thorpe became the first athlete to win both the Pentathlon and Decathlon at a single modern Olympic Games.
One of Thorpe’s U.S. teammates at the 1912 Olympics was a twenty-seven year old U.S. Army Officer named George Patton who competed in the Modern Pentathlon event. Though overall Patton competed with great skill in most of the event, his efforts were not enough to place for an Olympic medal. Fortunately for the United States, history remembers Patton better for his service during World War I and as the Commanding General of the U.S. 7th Army (1943) and U.S. 3rd Army (1944-45) during World War II.