Tag: billy mills
October 14, 1964: Oglala Lakota Billy Mills (Makata Taka Hela) becomes the second American Indian in history to win an Olympic gold medal
Mills (born 1938) was raised on the Pine Ridge reservation. He trained as an athlete from an early age, later garnering many awards and earning sports scholarships that put him through college. He became a cross-country track star before graduating and joining the US Marines.
His record and training qualified him to compete for both the 10,000 meter and marathon events in the ’64 Tokyo Olympics, where his 24:4:4 win in the 10k was one of the great upsets in the history of the games. He was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984.
Today, Mills is the spokesperson for Running Strong, an outreach organization for Native youth.
Image: “Catching up with Billy Mills,” Sports Illustrated