Jim Thorpe, the first Native American to win a gold medal in the United States. On the morning of his decathlon event, his running shoes were stolen. Using two mismatched shoes (including one taken from the garbage), he won the gold.
Thorpe’s successes had not gone unnoticed at home, and on his return he was the star attraction in a ticker-tape parade on Broadway. He remembered later, “I heard people yelling my name, and I couldn’t realize how one fellow could have so many friends.”