EDINBURG – In honor of Native American Heritage Month, Olympic Gold Medallist Billy Mills, of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, will speak at The University of Texas-Pan American Thursday (Oct. 14) at 6:30 p.m. in the University Fieldhouse.
“Billy Mills is not merely an athlete, but a successful entrepreneur, family man, author and community leader,” said Alinor Stephens, chair of the Ideas and Issues Committee with the University Program Board. “I believe he will be one of the most dynamic speakers we’ve ever had on campus.”
The program will mark the 35th anniversary of Mills' win in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Mills scored one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history when he won the 10,000-meter race with a come-from-behind finish. In the 100-year history of the Games, Mills is the only American to have ever won this event.
Despite his accomplishments, Mills’ ancestry was ridiculed, his integrity questioned and his talents ignored. Nevertheless, he fought prejudice and scorn to become one of the best distance runners of his day, and an enduring national figure.
As a result of his lasting legend, Mills has subsequently been showered with many accolades, including induction into the United States Olympic Committee Hall of Fame.
This is a free event that is open to the community. For more information and reservations, contact Stephens at the University Program Board office at 956/381-2266.