Olympic champion Billy Mills to speak at FDLTCCNationally-known speaker and Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills will speak at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, in the amphitheater.
Nationally-known speaker and Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills will speak at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, in the amphitheater. The presentation is open to the public and admission is free.
A reception with refreshments and an opportunity to meet Mills will take place after his presentation.
Community members are invited to join the students and staff at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College to hear the memorable story and
important message presented by Mills.
A member of the Oglala Lakota tribe in Pine Ridge, S.D., Mills won the gold medal in the 10,000-meter run at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He is the only American to win gold in the 10,000-meter event.
As a virtual unknown entering the Olympics, Mills’ victory is one of the all-time great upsets in running history. Mills’ account of the race during his presentation is both mesmerizing and inspiring. His message centers on never quitting and keeping the quest for personal excellence.
In his presentation, Mills will tell how he surprised himself that day with his record-breaking time and monumental upset victory. But he also will share that he was not surprised his philosophy of persevering against all odds had paid off.
Mills’ life story was made into the feature film “Running Brave” in 1983. He is the author of “Lessons of a Lakota: A Young Man’s Journey
to Happiness and Self-Understanding.”
In 2000, Mills was selected by Sports Illustrated Magazine as the top athlete of the century for the state of South Dakota. Runner’s World magazine selected the 1964 Olympic 10,000-meter race one of the Top
Ten Olympic Track Races of the Century, and named Mills one of the “20 Spirits That Moved Running in the Century.”
After the Olympics, Mills finished his career in the U.S. Marine Corps as an officer assigned to the Department of the Interior. He later became a successful life insurance salesman, then switched careers to become a professional speaker. He and his wife, Patricia, live in Sacramento, Calif.
Mills uses his speaking skills as an advocate for and as a role model to young Native Americans. He is the national spokesman for Running Strong for American Indian Youth, a non-profit organization that helps communities with self-sufficiency programs, youth activities and cultural identity projects.