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Billy Mills: Reflecting on his epic 10,000m victory at the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964, coping with racism and returning to Tokyo in 2021

When Billy Mills arrived in Tokyo for the 1964 Olympic Games, few people knew much about the lanky American athlete. By the time he left two weeks later, he was a global star. The Olympics are full of inspirational stories, but few are as compelling as that of Mills, the Native American distance runner who pulled off one of the greatest upsets in Games history and went on to become a prominent advocate of humanitarian causes and racial and social justice.

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Billy Mills

8/5/2020

article Mills wants activism to be remembered more than gold medal
(Japan) -- A few years before Billy Mills won his gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Native American was several floors up in front of an open hotel window,...

7/30/2020

press release Billy Mills: Reflecting on his epic 10,000m victory at the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964, coping with racism and returning to Tokyo in 2021
(USA) -- When Billy Mills arrived in Tokyo for the 1964 Olympic Games, few people knew much about the lanky American athlete. By the time he left two weeks later, he was...

5/22/2020

article 'I Healed A Broken Soul': Billy Mills' Unexpected 1964 Olympic Win
(Massachusetts) -- The sun hangs low in the late afternoon sky. It’s Oct. 14, 1964. National Olympic Stadium, Tokyo. The runners toe the line for the 10,000-meter...

3/25/2020

article Olympic Gold-Medal Winner Billy Mills (Lakota) Comments on Postponement of 2020 Games
(California) -- With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic threatening lives worldwide, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President...

12/14/2019

article Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills give inspirational message at United Tribes
(North Dakota) -- At United Tribes Technical College, the only American to ever win the 10,000 meter run at the Olympics was on campus. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Billy...

11/13/2019

article A chance encounter: Box Elder's MacDonald meets iconic runner Billy Mills
(Montana) -- A flight delayed overnight is a nightmarish scenario for travelers. For Jeremy MacDonald, it turns out, it was more of a dream come true. After a trip home...

7/26/2019

article Olympic legend Billy Mills starts writing monthly newsletter in run-up to 2020 Games
(Japan) -- The excitement that marked the official one-year countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Games is real. A vivid expression of human joy that exists in locales near and...

5/6/2019

article 'The pursuit of a dream heals broken wings,' an interview with Lakota Olympian Billy Mills
(Virginia) -- As Indian Country Today previously reported, Gold medal-winning Olympian Billy Mills, Lakota, hosted his fifth annual Dreamstarters closing ceremony on...

5/2/2019

article Billy Mills to visit Sault for Billy Mills Fun Run/Walk
(South Dakota) -- The Billy Mills Fun Run/Walk featuring special guest speaker Billy Mills is slated for May 11 this year. The road race event is designed to promote a...

5/1/2019

article Olympian Billy Mills honors 10 Native youth $10,000 grantees at Dreamstarters ceremony
(Indian Country) -- Mills: ‘On October 14, 1964, I laid footprints on Mother Earth that forever altered my life. That moment was a gift, and Patricia and I wanted...

4/25/2019

article Billy Mills to receive honorary degree from University of Kansas
(Kansas) -- Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills will be an honorary degree recipient at this year's commencement ceremony at the University of Kansas. Mills is a...

11/30/2018

article School District 166 hosts Olympian Billy Mills
(Minnesota) -- Olympian Billy Mills spoke to students and staff at School District 166 on November 29, sharing a message about following your dreams. Mills, a member of...

11/21/2018

article Mills: Tribal business can lead toward just society
(Arizona) -- Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota, is a sought-after inspirational speaker in Indian Country. Generally he talks about how he overcame racism...

11/15/2018

article The healing power of pursuing a dream
(Arizona) -- When Billy Mills beat the pack on a muddy cinder track in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, it was one of the greatest upsets in sports history. The grainy black-...

11/10/2018

article Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills has school named after him
(Kansas) -- This marks the first time in history that a public school is named after a Native American public figure. Mills won the gold medal for Team USA in the 10,000...

11/5/2018

article Public school named after Native Olympian Billy Mills, becomes first in history
(Kansas) -- Supporters, students, teachers and the gold medal-winning Olympian Billy Mills gathered in Lawrence, Kansas on Friday to celebrate a historic day in honor of...

11/2/2018

article Olympian Billy Mills visits Coos Bay, partakes in film screening
(Oregon) -- On October 30, Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills visited Coos Bay in Oregon, which is the hometown of American track and field legend Steve Prefontaine.

10/25/2018

article Billy Mills Announces Fifth Round of $100k in Grants for Native Youth’s Dreams on Anniversary of Greatest Olympic Race
(Washington D.C.) -- On October 14, 2018, fifty-four years to the day after winning Olympic gold in what has been repeatedly named the greatest race of all time, Oglala...

8/18/2018

article Statue honoring 1964 Olympic icon Billy Mills needs home
(Japan) -- Some of track and field’s biggest names have lent their prominent voices toward an effort to honor Olympic icon Billy Mills in 2020, The Japan Times has...

3/4/2018

article Olympian Billy Mills to speak at Child Abuse Prevention Conference
(Arizona) -- In recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth will present the 2018 Annual Child Abuse Prevention...

1/12/2018

article Cryptocurrencies Pose Regulatory Risk for Casinos in Asia, Says Ex-Police Chief
(Macau) -- Cryptocurrencies are bad news for Asia’s casinos and gaming companies that flirt with them should expect a regulatory backlash from Beijing and other...

11/8/2017

article Gold medalist Billy Mills to return to Lawrence for 10K, meet-and-greet
(Kansas) -- Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills and his wife, Pat, will be in town this weekend to participate in the second annual Billy Mills 10K at Haskell Indian...

8/26/2017

article New honor for Olympic legend Mills
(California) -- Legendary distance runner Billy Mills, whose performance at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics catapulted him to global fame, is receiving a special honor close to...

7/14/2017

article Billy Mills Talks Running as Spiritual Practice on ‘On Being’ Podcast
(South Dakota) -- When Billy Mills was a child on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, a Jesuit priest gave his father a book with a collection of articles.

10/15/2016

article Billy Mills Announces 100k in Native Youth Grants on Anniversary of Gold Win
(South Dakota) -- Fifty-two years after winning Olympic gold in what has been called the greatest race of all time, Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota Sioux) has announced the...

8/5/2016

article Lakota Country Times: Olympic legend Billy Mills congratulates runners at Rosebud
(South Dakota) -- Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota Olympic Gold Medalist, visited Rosebud to help with the 3rd Annual Half Marathon Run by greeting all finishers with a medal...

7/28/2016

article Billy Mills Participates in Rosebud Half Marathon
(South Dakota) -- Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota Olympic Gold Medalist, visited Rosebud to help with the 3rd Annual Half Marathon Run by greeting all finishers with a medal...

7/21/2016

article Billy Mills: Indian kids need Indian role models
(Arizona) -- Billy Mills, 1964 10K Olympic Gold Medalist, said he has traveled the world many times during his lifetime. Mills said American Indian kids do need American...

4/23/2016

article Olympian Billy Mills to visit Sault
(Michigan) -- Olympian Billy Mills returns to Sault Ste. Marie this May as special guest of the Billy Mills Fun 5k Run/Walk special guest. Mills will appear May 12 at...

4/10/2016

article High Country Running: Olympian Mills set to inspire Flagstaff
(Arizona) -- I remember going to see the movie “Running Brave” with my dad in downtown Topeka, Kan., when I was in high school. I remember a person at the...

1/22/2016

article Dreamstarters Named By Billy Mills Take Top Honors
(USA) -- On October 14, 2014, fifty years to the day since Oglala Lakota runner Billy Mills’s historic gold medal win in the 10,000-meter run, Mills and Running...

1/21/2016

article Thunder Productions Release Billy Mills Interview: Retraces Historic Olympic Victory
(Minnesota) -- One of the best treats for American Indian journalists is to meet your American Indian heroes in life. Such has been the case for journalist Stacey...

9/16/2015

article Olympic gold medalist to give public talk about resilience
(Michigan) -- Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills will be on the Western Michigan University campus Monday, Sept. 21, to present a talk about resilience to students.

7/28/2015

article Olympic Gold medalist Billy Mills speaks at BHSU Distance Running Camp
(South Dakota) -- Black Hills State University had a surprise guest at a distance running camp Thursday. Billy Mills, 1964 Olympic gold medalist, addressed area high...

7/16/2015

article 50 years later, Billy Mills recalls journey
(New Mexico) -- When Billy Mills wakes up every morning he doesn’t picture that momentous day 50 years ago, when he won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. Instead he feels...

6/16/2015

article Billy Mills celebrates 50th anniversary of gold medal
(New Mexico) -- The second ever Native American gold medalist was in the metro on Saturday, June 13. It is the 50th anniversary of Billy Mills winning the gold in Tokyo...

6/14/2015

article Mills’ Olympic shot into history inspires Native American runners
(New Mexico) -- Billy Mills has proved that a moment of glory can last 50 years and inspire every generation.

4/19/2015

article Billy Mills: Embracing The Past and Hope For The Future
(Kansas) -- In October 1964, Billy Mills captured the gold medal in the Tokyo Summer Olympics for the U.S. in the 10,000 m event. What makes Mills different though, was...

4/8/2015

article Know Your KU History: Billy Mills
(Kansas) -- One of the perks of attending a large university with an illustrious list of alumni, is the ability to hear a legend speak. In the late 1990’s, I had...

3/29/2015

article Hudsonites run on team of friend Billy Mills
(New York) -- Gary and Melissa Porter of Hudson traveled to Washington, D.C., last fall to compete in the Marine Corps Marathon (Gary the full marathon and Melissa the...

3/7/2015

article Olympian Billy Mills Names Dreamstarter Grantees
(Virginia) -- Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills announced today the names of ten American Indian youth who will receive copy0,000 in funding for their dream projects...

2/25/2015

article Gold medal propels Billy Mills' cause
(USA) -- When Billy Mills raced to one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history -- winning the 10,000-meter gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Games -- a lot of people wanted...

2/12/2015

article Billy Frank Jr.’s Courage and Tenacity Honored With Salmon Totem Pole
(Washington) -- A pole honoring the late Billy Frank Jr. (1931-2014) now stands at Wa He Lut Indian School at Frank’s Landing on the Nisqually reservation in...

2/9/2015

article Billy Mills Just One of the (Famous) Guys at Track Reunion
(California) -- In recent years, this Olympic legend has been honored by President Obama, revered by Native American groups and cheered amid his moving speeches.

12/18/2014

article Billy Mills brings unity message to Heard Museum
(Arizona) -- Winning an Olympic gold medal once was Billy Mills' dream. When he accomplished that a half century ago in a stunning 10,000-meter track upset in Tokyo...

11/4/2014

article Champion encourages students to share their culture with others
(California) -- Fifty years after winning Olympic gold in a stunning victory, distance runner Billy Mills encouraged American Indian students to expand their minds and...

10/19/2014

article Running Strong begins new grant for Native youth
(South Dakota) -- On the 50th anniversary of his Olympic win Tuesday, Oglala Lakota runner Billy Mills announced a new grant program for American Indian youth.

10/16/2014

article EDITORIAL: Billy Mills a true hero to all
(South Dakota) -- A true hero lives among us in western South Dakota, and his name is Billy Mills. It's been almost exactly 50 years since Mills, an Oglala Lakota,...

10/15/2014

article Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills to attend Cocopah celebration
(Arizona) -- The Cocopah Indian Tribe hosts its annual Cultural Celebration this Saturday, offering everything from traditional dance performances to food vendors to a...

10/14/2014

article Mills' new challenge: Start Native youth dreaming
(South Dakota) -- Fifty years to the day after he stunned the sports world by winning Olympic gold in the 10,000-meter run in Tokyo, Billy Mills, an Oglala Lakota,...

10/13/2014

article Dream Big: Billy Mills Reflects On Olympic Gold Medal
(South Dakota) -- On October 14, 1964, a young American distance runner named Billy Mills shocked the world with an improbable last-second sprint to claim gold in the 10...

9/25/2014

article Native Sun News: Billy Mills marks 50th birthday of Olympic win
(South Dakota) -- Fifty years ago a young Oglala Lakota man stepped up to the starting line of the 10,000 meter run at the 1964 Olympics not knowing that he was about...

9/19/2014

article HISTORY: Tokyo 1964 gold medallist Billy Mills recalls the secret source of his inspiration
(Japan) -- Billy Mills’ win in the 10,000m at Tokyo 1964 was a landmark in the USA’s Olympic history, and he remains the only American to take a gold medal...

9/4/2014

article Olympian Shares Achievement at Tribal Summit
(North Dakota) -- Athlete Billy Mills was orphaned at the age of 12. Through his tough times, he never thought he would win an Olympic gold medal, but he did. And today...

8/28/2014

article Former Olympic champion Billy Mills to attend dedication for new Kickapoo walking trail
(Kansas) -- Former Olympic champion Billy Mills will attend a ceremony Saturday to unveil a new, half-mile oval walkway to be used by the Kickapoo Nation.

8/13/2014

article Billy Mills to be honored at Thunder Half Marathon
(New Mexico) -- The fourth running of the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon set Sept. 14 will honor the 50th anniversary of Billy Mills’ victory in the 10,000 Meter...

8/8/2014

article Billy Mills to be honored at Thunder Half Marathon
(New Mexico) -- The fourth running of the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon set Sept. 14 will honor the 50th anniversary of Billy Mills’ victory in the 10,000 Meter...

5/2/2014

article Virtues and values highlight message Billy Mills brings to Taos
(New Mexico) -- Before running in the 10k at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Billy Mills told an audience gathered in Taos High’s theater (April 23) that he saw...

4/23/2014

article Haskell University Battles Cutbacks With Billy Mills as Best Weapon
(Kansas) -- Billy Mills knows every dream begins with a first step. The American distance running legend has a vision for how he’d like to help Haskell Indian...

4/15/2014

article Olympic hero Mills to visit Bemidji, area
(Minnesota) -- U.S. Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills will visit Bemidji and the area the today-Thursday. Mills, who won the 10,000 meters in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic...

1/28/2014

article Gold Medalist Billy Mills to speak on campus Feb. 5
(North Dakota) -- Morehead State University’s Office of Student Activities, Inclusion, and Leadership will present Olympic Gold Medalist, former U.S. Marine...

12/6/2013

article Olympian Billy Mills to Receive the NCAA Theodore Roosevelt Award
(USA) -- The NCAA announced Friday morning that Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills is to receive the Theodore Roosevelt Award which is given annually to an individual...

11/4/2013

article Olympian Billy Mills visits Pojoaque studio to see sculpture of historic moment
(New Mexico) -- Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills looked up at the brown clay statue that depicts him running in the Olympic race he won 49 years ago. He became teary-...

10/29/2013

article Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills to speak at NDSU
(North Dakota) -- Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills will speak at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 in the Memorial Union Great Room as part of North Dakota State University’s Native...

9/9/2013

article 17 State AGs Back Mich. In Supreme Court Casino Suit
(Michigan) -- Seventeen state attorneys general Friday lined up behind Michigan in its U.S. Supreme Court case to limit the sovereign immunity of Native American tribes...
article Native Sun News: Billy Mills talks diabetes at NIHB conference
(Michigan) -- Olympic Gold Medalist and humanitarian, Billy Mills brought people to their feet in standing ovation as he shared his experiences with diabetes and...

7/9/2013

article Mills inspires youth at Kickapoo Nation ceremony
(Kansas) -- 1964 Olympic gold medalist, Billy Mills was guest of honor July 1 at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Billy Mills Kickapoo Tribe Cross Country Park...

7/1/2013

article Billy Mills opens cross country park on Kickapoo Reservation
(Kansas) -- Billy Mills knows a thing a two about racing. “Billy Mills, he’s a hero to us. We are proud of him,” Steve Cadue, chairman of the Kickapoo...
article Billy Mills Visits Kickapoo Reservation to Debut Cross-Country Trail
(Kansas) -- Olympic champion Billy Mills is the guest of honor today, July 1, at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Billy Mills (Makoce Pe’hila) Kickapoo Tribe...

6/30/2013

article Kevin Haskin: Kickapoo project tribute to Olympic hero Mills
(Kansas) -- The Olympic victory Billy Mills claimed almost 50 years ago remains an upset in the minds of virtually everyone. Except Mills.

6/25/2013

article Kickapoo Nation to Host Olympic Champion
(Kansas) -- A world-renowned athlete will be guest of honor at a special ceremony at 10 a.m., Monday, July 1, on the Kickapoo Indian Reservation west of Horton on K-20...

4/20/2013

article NCAA Honors Billy Mills
(Indiana) -- On Thursday, April 18, the NCAA dedicated a room at its national office in Indianapolis to Billy Mills, continuing the organization’s tradition of...
article Not living by the public’s perception
(Indiana) -- Perceptions used to hurt Billy Mills, make him feel devalued, even led him to thoughts of suicide. Then the former All-American distance runner at Kansas...

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