Olympic Gold Medalist; Second Native American to Win a Gold Medal and President Obama awarded the Citizen Medal to Billy Mills in 2013
Billy Mills is the only American to have ever won the Olympic gold medal in the 10,000-meter run.
Billy Mills is the only American to have ever won the Olympic gold medal in the 10,000-meter run. A Lakota Sioux raised in one of the poorest communities in America, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Mills was orphaned as a young boy, facing prejudice and cultural discrimination most of his childhood life. It was through a running scholarship to the University of Kansas that he was able to leave the reservation.
While in college, Mills accepted a commission as an officer in the US Marine Corps, which allowed him to cultivate his winning spirit and rich heritage. He began by running 30 miles a week and eventually worked up to 100 miles every week. Basic training and an excellent track and field program helped Mills qualify for the 1964 Olympics in the 10,000-meter run and the marathon. His victory in the 10,000-meter run is often called one of greatest upsets in Olympic history.
In 1983, Mills’ quest for excellence was released on the big screen. Running Brave, starring Robby Benson as Mills, follows his life from childhood through his Olympic victory.
Mills is a national spokesperson for Christian Relief Services and has helped raise over $300 million. He is also the founder of Running Strong for American Indian Youth, an organization that helps Native American youth programs.
Since the 1964 Olympic Games, Mills has become one of the most empowering Olympic speakers on the platform. He has helped thousands of corporations and associations throughout America reach within the depths of their capabilities and perform to the greatest of their potential. Mills has appeared in a number of television commercials and has made numerous appearances on shows such as the Discovery Channel’s Ultimate Athlete, HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and countless other athletic specials. He has also published articles in Visions Magazine, American Athletics Magazine, The College Digest Magazine, and Sports Travel Magazine.
In 1990, Mills published Wokini, Lakota for “new life, a life of peace, and happiness.” In it, Mills discusses achieving happiness and urges readers to embark on a personal journey to find satisfaction in life. Wokini blends traditional Native American beliefs with modern therapeutic principles.
His latest work is Lessons of a Lakota, published in 2005.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Our world is changing: entire governments have been dismantled, new governments created, existing governments redesigned, universities re-engineered, and businesses reconstructed. Billy Mills shares what remains constant in our ever-changing world and explains how this consistency is our key to global unity.
He takes his audience on a compassionate and powerful journey through time, weaving stories of his young life as an orphaned Native American child living in poverty and coming face to face with racism, and explains that it was the daily choices he made in life, not just the talent he possessed, that led to his quest for Olympic glory.
In this powerful presentation, Mills explains that it is the journey, not the destination, that shapes us as individuals and unites us as a people.
The Pursuit of Excellence
Sharing his personal schema for success, Billy Mills explains how he has been able to unleash the passion and energy within himself to achieve phenomenal success in sport and life. Recalling his legendary 10,000 meter run—the greatest upset in Olympic history—he outlines his value-based concept on how dreams come true, a system which continues to inspire thousands of individuals across America today.
Billy Mills 10000 Meter Gold Medal
Presidential Citizens Medal 2012 — Billy Mills
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