Native America theme

Tulsa2024 believes our bid could become identified with more than Tulsa, or Oklahoma.

Because 26 to 28 USA states are named from Native American words, (Massachusetts means “by the range of hills”, Ohio is “its beautiful”, and Texas is “friend”), and the trail of tears crosses many of those states (and also states not named with Native American words), the bid theme of Native America could help the bid become a national USA bid identity.

Over half of the States in the USA are of Native American naming origin.[1][2][3] The Olympic Torch would travel though these Native American named states and follow one, or more of the many Trail of Tears to Indian Territory. One trail could begin in Cherokee, North Carolina, and end in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, headquarters of the Cherokee Nation.

The theme of the Tulsa Olympics would be Native America, and Native America’s contributions to the Olympics such as Olympians Jim Thorpe and Billy Mills, and Native America’s contribution to the Olympics sports of swimming, field hockey, equestrian, canoe & kayak, track & field, and archery, as well as Oklahoma’s Olympics sports contributions to wrestling, basketball, gymnastics, rowing, volleyball, and softball.

Tulsa and Oklahoma City appear to share the same number of venues for an Olympics bid, however, as a result of the 1887 Dawes Act, the 1898 Curtis Act, the organization of Oklahoma Territory in 1890, and the Land Run of 1889, Tulsa is clearly in Indian Territory, and Oklahoma City is clearly in the Unassigned Lands. In keeping with the Native America theme of the 2020 Olympics, the study concluded that Tulsa would be a better fit for representing the Native American theme of the bid.

As a result of the successful themes used by the Atlanta 1996 bid, the Tulsa games committee recommended that the strong international name recognition with Oklahoma Native America be the major theme of the bid, with a target to generate for the IOC large international television audiences due to the worldwide recognition of Native America and Oklahoma.

We propose having the Olympic Torch follow the several paths of the Trail of Tears, which all converge on Tahlequah, OK. Tahlequah is in Cherokee Nation territory, and is also the site of the first university west of the Mississippi River. It was originally named Cherokee Women’s Seminary, and is now named NSU – Northeastern State University. NSU’s notable alumnus is singer Carrie Underwood.


National; Park Service map of the Trail of Tears: