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Chiefs to Host Flag Football Event for Local Tribal Youth in Honor of Jim Thorpe Day

The Chiefs will host youth from the Iowa and Kickapoo Tribes for an afternoon of activities at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium

The ever-visible world of sports often provides the ultimate stage for individuals to make a name for themselves in our society, and in the history of the United States, few have ever shined quite as brightly as the legendary Jim Thorpe.

A member of the Sac and Fox Nation in what is now Oklahoma, Thorpe's long list of achievements include multiple Olympic gold medals, enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a career in Major League Baseball and the distinction of serving as the first President of the American Professional Football Association, which later became the NFL.

In fact, his performance in both the decathlon and the pentathlon at the 1912 Summer Olympics made Thorpe the first American Indian to win an Olympic gold medal for the United States.


His legacy as one of the greatest athletes of all-time is immense, and it's for that reason that President Richard Nixon proclaimed every April 16th as "Jim Thorpe Day" throughout the United States in 1973. The date serves as an annual opportunity to remember Thorpe for his tremendous accomplishments, but even more importantly, it's a chance to draw inspiration from a mindset that made Thorpe's dreams a reality.

"I hope he inspires people to believe in themselves and to do great things, even if they come from smaller beginnings," said Mary Thorpe, Jim's granddaughter. "He was a Native American from Oklahoma who was born into poverty, but he believed in who he was and what he could achieve. So, when people think about him, I want them to follow his example and to believe in themselves."

With that mandate in mind, the Kansas City Chiefs will honor this upcoming Jim Thorpe Day by hosting tribal youth from the Boys and Girls Clubs from both the Iowa and Kickapoo Tribes for an afternoon of activities at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium for the second consecutive year. The event will include a flag football activation, a Lamar Hunt "Create-A-Franchise" workshop in the Hall of Honor, and an opportunity to meet with both Chiefs Legends and Mary Thorpe. In addition to youth from the Iowa and Kickapoo Tribes, children from the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes will participate, too.

"For these children to come to this event, I hope it gives them something to believe in and something to dream of accomplishing," said Mary Thorpe. "I want to keep that dream alive for them, and it's not only limited to sports. It can be in science or literature or anything, but I want them to find something and go after it."

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