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NDN All-Star Profile Onondga Track & Field

NDN All-Star #8 Tom Longboat (Onondaga)

NDN All-Star #8 Tom Longboat (Onondaga)

NDN All-Star #8 Tom Longboat (Onondaga) was a long-distance runner from Canada. I selected him for the NDN All-Stars line up because of his unbelievable accomplishments, including winning the Boston Marathon in 1907 – shattering the record by a staggering 5 MINUTES (a whole mile’s worth of running time). He also won two Canadian championships, two US championships, and represented Canada in the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.

I will be honest… I didn’t know about Tom Longboat before I started doing research for this whole NDN All-Stars thing.  I could barely believe what I was reading when I came across information about Tom Longboat. I am glad that I found out about him – and can now share his story and accomplishments with all of you!

At the beginning of the 20th Century, long distance running was an international phenomenon – with races being held all over North America and Europe.  And these were not just ANY races… they were true feats of endurance.  Longboat beat an Italian runner named Dorando Pietri of Italy for the “World Professional Running Championship”. The race was held in Madison Square Garden on December 15, 190. Longboat won when Dorando collapsed with half a mile to go. When Longboat crossed the finish line, he had been running for 2 hours, 45 minutes, and 5.2 seconds, and he won a prize of $3,750.

His success as a long-distance runner made him one of Canada’s first sports celebrities and earned him the nickname “The Iron Man”. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955 as part of their inaugural class of inductees.

Tom Longboat remains one of Canada’s most celebrated athletes to this day.  Here is a short animated story of NDN All-Star #8 Tom Longboat that is pretty entertaining…

During World War I, Tom Longboat was a messenger, running through heavy fire to deliver communications to Allied Forces.  There is a story that once, when he made a fast journey and delivered the message he was tasked with, the commanding officer said something to the effect of “Wow!  That was fast!  Who do you think you are? Tom Longboat?”  Tom replied simply, “Yes, as a matter of fact.”

A world famous long distance runner, Boston Marathon winner AND war hero!  NDN All-Star #8 Tom Longboat – an NDN All-Star everyone should know about!


If you enjoy the content here and would like to help support our mission of celebrating great Native athletes of the past and present, please take a look at our NDN All-Stars Shop. Proceeds from every purchase help us continue to retell these stories. Also, if you would like to donate to this effort, please visit our Patreon page.
Thank you for your support!

Categories
NDN All-Star Profile Oglala Sioux Track & Field

NDN All-Star #7 Billy Mills (Oglala Sioux)

NDN All-Star #7 Billy Mills (Oglala Siouc)

NDN All-Star #7 Billy Mills, a member of the Oglala Sioux, was the winner of the Gold Medal in the 10,000 meter race at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. It was an extraordinary achievement, given his humble beginnings on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. His amazing come-from-behind victory has since become a source of inspiration for Native Americans everywhere. Click the link to see him pour on the speed to win the Gold Medal!  It gives me goose bumps every time I see it!

His story is one that shows that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and never give up – regardless of where you come from.  It has been told numerous times, and was even made into a movie in 1983 called “Running Brave“.

Billy has used his celebrity to good effect.  He is the national spokesperson for the “Running Strong for American Indian Youth” foundation, doing great work to provide better lives and opportunities for the next generations of Native youth.  Click the link and see how you can help their efforts.

As the only American to win the Gold Medal in the 10,000 meter race, NDN All-Star #7 Billy Mills is a true NDN All-Star!


If you enjoy the content here and would like to help support our mission of celebrating great Native athletes of the past and present, please take a look at our NDN All-Stars Shop. Proceeds from every purchase help us continue to retell these stories. Also, if you would like to donate to this effort, please visit our Patreon page.
Thank you for your support!

Categories
Baseball Football NDN All-Star Profile Sac & Fox Track & Field

NDN All-Star #1 – Jim Thorpe (Sac & Fox)

My first selection in the NDN All-Star Draft is… Jim Thorpe.  NFL Hall of Famer, 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist and Major League baseball player… and just about any other athletic activity known to man… Thorpe was just THE BEST!

In this blog post let’s talk about football.  Jim was a BRILLIANT football player!  He was the best runner, the best receiver, the hardest tackler and he even kicked field goals using the old “drop kick” method!  (He frequently toured in later years giving clinics on his drop kicking technique – routinely making field goals from 50+ yards…)

Thorpe dominated the game – and almost single handedly built professional football from a loose, rag tag organiztion with very low attendance to a spectacle almost on par with the king of sports at the time – baseball.  People would come from miles around and pay to see “Ol’ Jim run!”  As a matter of fact, there is a good story about the legendary football coach Knute Rockne, during his playing days, and his encounter with Big Jim.  Rockne bragged how he would stop that big Indian!  And on the first couple of plays, he tackled Thorpe for losses.  Each time, Jim got up and said something to the effect of “Nice tackle.  But – you better let Ol’ Jim run. That’s what people paid to see.”  Rockne laughed!  So, on the third play, “Ol’ Jim” took the ball, planted his foot and turned up field.  He blasted right over Rockne on his way to a long touchdown.  On his way back to his side of the field, Thorpe walked by a crumpled and groggy Rockne who was being helped up by his teammates and said “Good job, Rock.  You really let Ol’ Jim run!”  CLASSIC!

He was so respected in the football world that when the predecessor of the National Football League was formed in 1920, Thorpe was unanimously elected as the first President of the league, as well as being the main superstar and ticket draw!

Jim Thorpe meant so much to pro football, he was elected to the first class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – there is a cool life sized statue of him right in the middle of it – and was voted to the 50th Anniversary All-Time team!

I could go on and on about NDN All-Star #1 Jim Thorpe (Sac & Fox), but I need to keep a few stories on hand for his two other roster spots, #16 for his baseball career track and #21 for his field exploits.

Jim Thorpe – everyone’s #1 Draft Pick!

Click here for a short video from the NFL about the great Jim Thorpe!


If you enjoy the content here and would like to help support our mission of celebrating great Native athletes of the past and present, please take a look at our NDN All-Stars Shop. Proceeds from every purchase help us continue to retell these stories. Also, if you would like to donate to this effort, please visit our Patreon page.
Thank you for your support!


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