October 16, 2014

Olympic Champion shares with MHA youth

By Jerry W. Kram

Most of their parents weren’t even born when Billy Mills made his mark in the world.

But still, dozens of elementary and middle school children wore t-shirts with the image of Mills breaking the tape in the final of the 10,000 meter race at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. They were gathered at the Four Bears Bridge Monument to share a run/walk with the Olympic Gold Medalist on the 50th Anniversary of his triumph. Mills is the only American every to win a gold medal in that event.

Mills, a Lakota who grew up on the Standing Rock Reservation, could have been back in Japan, attending a reunion of medalists from the 1964 games. Instead, he chose to celebrate his accomplishment by coming to Fort Berthold and sharing his experiences with the young people of the Three Affiliated Tribes. Mills said he has traveled extensively around the world for decades on behalf young people, especially indigenous youth. He is planning on slowing down, but first he wants to dedicate the next two years working with youth on reservations around the United States.


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