50 Years Later, Billy Mills Recalls Olympic 10K Win

Oct 15, 2014

Tuesday was the 50th anniversary of what is considered one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history when the virtually unknown Billy Mills won the 10,000 meter run in the 1964 Tokyo Games. In the final lap, the 26-year-old Marine from the Pine Ridge Reservation passed 10K world record holder Ron Clarke of Australia and Mohammed Gammoudi of Tunisia with a sudden burst of speed as NBC analyst Dick Banks screamed "Look at Mills! Look at Mills!"

Billy Mills at the finish line at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo

That moment changed Mills' life and since then he's been devoted to giving back to the community. He’s the co-founder of the non-profit, Running Strong for American Indian Youth. On the occasion of the anniversary of his Olympic gold medal win, Mills announced the Dreamstarter grant program to support the Native youth's dreams for their communities.

Billy Mills joined Dakota Midday and shared memories of his famous race.

For more information on Running String for American Indian Youth's Dreamstarter program, click here.