Billy Mills Receives Presidential Citizens Medal in White House Ceremony!
On February 15th, 2013, our very own Billy Mills was honored to receive the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Obama at a White House ceremony for the important work Running Strong is doing for American Indian Youth.
“For me, the moment of a lifetime, for my Running Strong family, a medal I humbly accept on your behalf.” --Billy Mills, on receiving the Presidential Citizens Medal
Billy Mills winning the Olympic
Gold in the 10k race in
Tokyo, Japan, 1964.
Billy Mills is the National Spokesperson for Running Strong for American Indian Youth®. An Oglala Lakota (Sioux) who was raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Billy earned a track scholarship to the University of Kansas and later served as an Officer in the United States Marine Corps.
An Olympic Champion
At the 1964 Olympics, Billy Mills shocked the world when he came from behind to win the gold medal in the 10k race. At the time, he set a world record of 28 m 24.4s and he is still the only American to ever win a gold medal in the 10,000 meters.
Billy Mills was the inspiration for the movie Running Brave. The movie stars Robbie Benson and chronicles the story of Billy’s life on the Reservation and the many obstacles he overcame to become an Olympic Champion. Devoted Husband, Father and Grandfather
Billy Mills has been married to Pat Mills for over 50 years. They are the proud parents of 3 daughters and many grandchildren.
A Humanitarian Warrior
Billy encourages American Indian youth to be proud of who are they are.
In Lakota culture, someone who achieves great success has a 'giveaway' to thank the support system of family and friends who helped him achieve his goal. As part of his effort to give back to the American Indian community, Billy Mills joined forces with Eugene Krizek to help found Running Strong for American Indian Youth®.
Today Billy travels over 300 days every year. He visits American Indian communities throughout the U.S. and speaks to American Indian youth about healthy lifestyles and taking pride in their heritage. Other Places You Might Have Seen Billy
• Interviewed by Tom Brokaw on NBC Nightly News • Interviewed by Byrant Gumbel on HBO Real Sports • Featured on the PBS series Indian
Billy Mills' 10,000 Meter Olympic Gold Medal Finish
Billy Mills Featured in Runners' World - March 2012
Read the Billy Mills featured article as it appears in the March 2012 Issue of Runner's World !
This great article discusses Billy's historic 1964 Olympic win and looks back at his life journey before becoming an Olympic Gold Medalist as well as how he continues to run strong for American Indian youth today.