WASHINGTON –– The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) has decided to support the Thorpe family and the upcoming feature film, “Bright Path: The Jim Thorpe Story.” Bill Thorpe, Jim’s oldest surviving son, will be at the NIGA Mid-Year Conference & Expo, Nov. 2 – 4.
At 87 years old, Bill Thorpe will be playing in the golf tournament on Monday. On Tuesday, he will speak at the luncheon and will be available for pictures and autographs.
Bright Path intends to film in the summer of 2016 for release in 2017. The film will chronicle Jim’s early life leading up to his Olympic triumph and culminate in his final college football season where he led the nation in scoring.The bulk of the story takes place at the Carlisle Indian Industrial College, Carlisle, the first off reservation boarding school in the United States, housed Native American children from more than 140 Tribes during its 39-year history.
Despite these challenges, Jim became the greatest all-around athlete in the history of modern sports. He won Olympic Gold Medals in the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Swedish games.
Professionally, he played baseball for the New York Giants and football for the Canton Bulldogs where he won three championships. In 1920, he became a founding member and the first president of the National Football League.
NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens Jr. on the film: “It’s been too long and the real story must be told. The struggle that Indian people, our relatives endured during the Indian Policy and at Indian boarding schools like Carlisle would be viewed as inhumane in today’s society. Let us not forget what happened and honor those that walked before us. This story will show our future generations that you can never give up and you can achieve anything. The Carlisle football team led by Jim Thorpe did just that.”
Through the power of film, Bright Path will inspire generations to come by honoring Thorpe’s legacy of how he lived up to his Indian name, Wa-tho-huck (Bright Path).
The film is supported by Jim Thorpe’s last surviving children, Bill and Richard. NIGA will be present at the luncheon and will be providing a special presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 3.