Billy Mills To Be in Attendance at 83rd Annual Kansas Relays

April 11, 2010


One of the most legendary Jayhawks in history and a highly revered athlete and individual around the world, Billy Mills, will return to his alma mater for the 2010 Kansas Relays. On Friday, April 16, Mills will speak to members of the Kansas track and field team, while on Saturday, April 17, he will be at Memorial Stadium lending support to all the high school, collegiate and professional athletes competing, as well as greeting fans and spectators in attendance.

Mills is currently based in Sacramento, Calif., but travels almost 300 days out of the year as a motivational speaker. A member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux tribe, Mills has spent much of his life as a humanitarian and fundraiser, who works closely with American Indian communities, focusing on Indian youth.

In the athletic world, Mills is best remembered for his remarkable come-from-behind victory at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. In what has been called one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history, Mills captured the gold medal in the 10,000 meters after surging past the two race favorites on the final straightaway, setting, at the time, a new Olympic record of 28:24.4. To this day, Mills is still the only American ever win a gold medal in the 10,000 meters.

Before becoming an Olympic champion, Mills raced for the University of Kansas, where he was named a two-time cross country All-American in 1958 and 1959, while capturing the 1960 Big Eight Cross Country Championship. He was also a member of the 1959 and 1960 NCAA Championship track teams.

Mills was inducted into the USATF Hall of Fame in 1976 and is one of 57 track and field athletes in the Kansas Hall of Fame.

Mills will be in attendance at the Relays on Saturday, April 17. Admission into the meet will be granted to those wearing a 2010 Kansas Relays button. The buttons are $10 for adults and $5 for students, youth and seniors and are valid for all four days of the event. Children under five are admitted for free, as are KU students with a valid KU ID. There is also a Kansas Relays family plan which includes two adult and two student/youth buttons for $20.

This year, Kansas Relays is partnering with Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the KU Cancer Research Center to promote breast cancer awareness. The Kansas track and field team will be wearing special singlets during the event to show their support, while fans and spectators who donate to the “Jayhawks for a Cure” campaign will receive a commemorative button.