Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Native American Biography: Billy Mills: Olympic Gold Medalist

Billy Mills grew up in a poor home on the Sioux reservation and Pine Ridge; and he was orphaned as a young man, and raised by his sister.  Even so he excelled in track, and did well in high school, and then at Haskell Institute, and then also at University of Kansas.  He became a marine, and had given up running at one point thinking he was not improving.  His wife encouraged him to continue.  He made the Olympic team, but did not cause any great stir or interest.  However at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 when they came to the final lap of the 10,000 meter race, he suddenly sprinted ahead of the leaders, and won by three strides.  His was an upset of incredible proportions.  After the Olympics Mills became a popular motivational speaker.

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