Borne the Battle # 250: Marine Corps Veteran Billy Mills, Olympic Gold Medalist, Lakota Warrior
One day, while in his college dorm in the late 1950s, Billy Mills opened a window and put a chair down. He then stood up in the chair and mentally prepared to jump. As he stood, he thought about his difficult upbringing as an orphan and the racism he faced, even as an NCAA All-American runner. He just wanted to put all of his problems behind him.
Suddenly, Mills felt a burst of energy move under his skin. It was then that he heard “an unsaid word,”A sound that seemed to come from his father’s voice. It was from this experience that Mills found his dream of healing his broken soul, a dream of winning Olympic gold.
Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills shares his life story in this episode of Supported the battle. He talks about the many ups and downs of his life. He also gives a detailed description of the thoughts going through his head as he ran the 10,000m in 1964. The topics for this episode also include:
The odds were against Mills when he prepared to run the 10,000m in 1964. He faced the Australian runner. Ronald clarke, a multiple and favorite world record holder to win gold at the 1964 Olympics in distances. In addition, Mills, a borderline type 2 diabetic, developed hypoglycemia just 20 minutes before the race. With the United States never winning gold in the 10,000m, it seemed like even history was against Billy Mills.
And yet Mills won gold, set a world record and is still the only American to win gold in the 10k event.
Following his Olympic success, Mills devoted much of his life to inspiring young Native Americans to achieve their dreams. Mills helped found the association, Running hard for Native American youth, an organization helping Native Americans obtain basic necessities and creating opportunities for Native communities to make big dreams come true.
Mills began his Olympic journey with a broken soul. He left the Tokyo stadium in 1964 with exactly what he needed to heal him.