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Mon, Aug 10, 2020 3:34 PM

Mills wants activism to be remembered more than gold medal


A few years before Billy Mills won his gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Native American was several floors up in front of an open hotel window,standing on a chair and ready to jump.


He was despondent over yet another (Edited per community guidelines) slight, this time being excluded from a photograph because of his brown skin. It happened several times, often after he'd won a big race.


Unknown to him at the time, his bouts of depression were also triggered by un-diagnosed hypoglycemia and type-two diabetes.

“The feeling was there,” he said. “Just let go. It'll be all over. You just want to go where it’s quiet. You want to go where all the junk won’t be there anymore.”


He then heard what he interpreted as his late-father's voice, perhaps speaking from the South Dakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where Mills grew up.


“It was energy that sounded like 'don't, don't'. The fourth time it was more of an echo — ‘don’t'.”

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