Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
DOWAGIAC, MICHIGAN Whether is a sharp business suit or khakis and a golf shirt, Billy Mills, Lakota, seeks to inspire American Indians to live their potential.
Mills, the only American to win the 10K men's race Olympic history, was in business attire as he addressed the delegates at the National Indian Health Board 30th Annual Consumer Conference in Traverse City, Michigan on Wednesday. He spoke about his personal battle as a diabetic.
On Saturday, he and Head Veteran, Ojibwe George Martin, led the Grand Entry at the outdoor 28th Annual Kee-Boon-Mein-Kaa Powwow, as the special guest of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi at Rodgers Lake in Dowagiac, Michigan.
After he left the powwow arena, he was treated in celebrity-style as he was approached by powwow attendees for photographs and autographs. A gracious man, Mills accommodated all requests as he made his way to get something to eat.
As he ate lunch, he discussed how several Japanese news agencies have been contacting him because he has endorsed Tokyo to be the site of the 2020 Olympic Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee will announce its selection on Saturday, September 7. Buenos Aires, Madrid and Istanbul are cities still under consideration.
Tokyo is where Mills won his Olympic Gold Medal in 1964.
“I believe Tokyo is the best choice because economically Japan is ready to host the games and from a security standpoint, the Japanese can handle the Games,”
Mills told the Native News Network.
As he continued to talk, Mills was approached by a Pokagon Band elder, who stopped by to tell him how much she enjoyed his remarks to the youth.
“I tell young people everywhere, when we integrate our traditional virtues and values into our everyday lives we become the warriors of the 21st Century,”
Mills told the Pokagon Band elder.
“We can empower ourselves through our traditions, culture, spirituality and values.”
She could not refuse to get his autograph as she was ready to leave Mills' table. Ever the gentleman, Mills smiled and signed his autograph for her.
posted September 3, 2013 7:30 am edt