Thursday, January 3, 2008

Running Brave - Billy Mills at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics

A non-running friend recently recommended the movie Running Brave with Robby Benson. After watching it, I wondered how I had never heard about this incredible Lakota Sioux runner and his underdog, come-from-behind victory in the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics?

The video quality of the actual race is fairly grainy, but remember that a TV satellite had just been launched in 1964, and the Tokyo Olympics were the first Olympics to be televised via satellite. It shows the last lap of the race with the three lead runners, Ron Clarke of Australia (the favorite and world record holder), Mohammed Gammoudi of Tunisia, and Billy Mills of the USA, lapping the slower runners.

In 1964, no American had ever won the Olympic 10,000 meters before, and after Billy Mills won no one from the Western Hemisphere has repeated his victory.

Watching the finish to this race reminds me that much of running is done with the heart.

1964 Tokyo Olympics - 10,000 Meters

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