Jim Thorpe, age 24, at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm.
Born on Indian territory to parents of mixed ancestry, Thorpe won gold in the pentathlon and the decathlon, dominating eight of the fifteen events.
He was later was stripped of both medals when it was revealed that he had played professional baseball before the Olympics. After the games, he played professional football, baseball, and basketball until the age of 41, when the Great Depression ended his athletic career.
"Someone had stolen his shoes just before he won his gold. He found a mismatched pair in a trash bin and wore extra socks because one shoe was too big."
Submitted by boepple