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Olympic hero Mills visits Bemidji area

Billy Mills, a 1964 Tokyo Olympic 10,000 meters gold medalist, joins the runners at the start of the 28:24 Run and Walk on Tuesday afternoon at the BSU Gillett Recreation Fitness Center. Mills is in the Bemidji area through Thursday and will be speaking at various events. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- U.S. Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills is in the Bemidji area through Thursday.

Mills, who won the 10,000 meters in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic games, considered to be one of the greatest Olympic upsets of all time, will be holding various public appearances and also will be visiting area schools. On Tuesday, Mills took part in the Billy Mills Honor 28:24 Run and Walk at BSU at the Gillett Recreation and Fitness Center. The name of the event is for Mills' winning time in the 10,000 meters. He also was scheduled to take part in the BSU American Indian Graduate Banquet at BSU.

A former U.S. Marine, Mills is a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe and was raised on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Today, Mills will visit Red Lake Middle School and High School after earlier traveling to Grand Rapids. On Thursday, Mills will hold the 28:24 Walk with Bemidji Middle School students, as well as hold two presentations at Bemidji High School.

Maggi Stivers

Maggi Stivers is a Multi-Media Journalist at the Bemidji Pioneer. She covers art and entertainment in the Bemidji area. She is a 2013 Bemidji State graduate majoring in mass communications with a minor in sociology. Contact her at (218) 333-9790 or

(218) 333-9790