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KOSU Launches the Living Room

Filed by Michael Cross in Feature, Local News, News.
September 7, 2011

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This month, host Gerry Bonds visits with NY editor’s choice author Kate Buford and Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry about the life of Jim Thorpe.

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are less than a year away now.

And as anticipation builds about the athletic events to come, the 2012 games will also serve as an opportunity to remember outstanding Olympic achievements of the past.

Oklahoman Jim Thorpe dominated the 1912 games in Stokholm with his performances in the decathlon and pentathlon.

Thorpe was the first sensational athletic superstar to show the potential of the Olympics according to author Kate Buford, who spent six years researching the famous athlete for her book Native American Son: the Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe.

During an interview for KOSU’s The Living Room, Buford tells host Gerry Bonds that Jim Thorpe was first and foremost a competitor.

“Jim Thorpe liked to win. He really didn’t care too much about setting records…that was too abstract…as long as he came in first or jumped highest…that was fine. And that frustrated his coaches at times because they wanted him to set records. He loved to win and I think he got that from his father Hyram Thorpe, who was the one who dropped him in the North Canadian River and told him he simply had to swim to the shore and that’s a great example…for what his life was based on.”

Buford, meanwhile, says Oklahoma City University President Robert Henry played a key role in her research for the Thorpe book thanks to his many relationships with Oklahomans who helped put the puzzle pieces of Thorpe’s life together.

In return, Henry says Buford has produced the definitive work about the world’s greatest athlete.

“Once you get to know Kate you know she’s going to do the research and her discussion of things Indian as well as her discussion of the first days of football are two of the things that are just really going to I think establish this book throughout history. She really got the Indian stuff right…and no one else had ever bothered to deal with that in telling the Thorpe story.”

You can learn more about Kate Buford’s book Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe, when Buford and Robert Henry join Gerry Bonds for the inaugural edition of The Living Room – Wednesday evening at 6:30 right after Marketplace on KOSU.

The program will also be rebroadcast Saturday, September 10th at 4:30pm and Tuesday, September 13th at 8:30am.

One Response to “KOSU Launches the Living Room”

  1. Peter says:

    While listening to the Living Room, I learned several things. I learned that the Author had never been to Oklahoma prior to taking on this project. I learned that she and the President of OCU have nothing but the highest admiration for each other. I learned that the upcoming book is going to be considered the definitive biography of Jim Thorpe. What was missing was more information about Jim Thorpe. It seemed that everyone on the program assumed that anyone who was listening was as familiar with Jim Thorpe as they are.
    If this is going to be a continuing series, please keep in mind that your audience does not know as much as you do.

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