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  1. #1

    Billy Mills - Olympic Champion

    Every year, at this time of the year, the Marine Corps Marathon takes place in Arlington and DC. One of my sons and his girl friend at the time ran a few years back and a couple of kids from work are running this year. I get exhausted thinking about it. This is a lead in to the column this morning in the Post by Mike Wise about a marine who came out of nowhere to win a Gold Medal in the 1964 Olympics, Billy Mills. Mills, an American Indian orphan, overcame racism to pull off one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history. He returns every year for the Marine Corps Marathon.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports...iTM_story.html

    For us old timers,the 10,000 meter race was not a featured race and for a US runner to run down the pack and win was shocking to those of us watching. I believe that was the Olympics where Bullet Bob Hayes refused to let the US lose the 400 meter relay and he ran an unbelieveable final leg to catch and pass the teams ahead of him. Like the Mills run, the announcer got caught up in the moment and made it a memorable event. Lots of great track and field moments from the Olympics and these were two of the best IMO.

    gw67

  2. #2

    billy mills

    I think Mills' victory in the 1964 10,000 meter finals is the single most thrilling moment I've ever had watching the Olympics -- and (as my screen name suggests) I am a huge fan of the games.

    Going into the race, the US had never done anything at that distance, but there was hope that Gerry Lindgren could challenge world record holder (and pre-race favorite) Ron Clarke of Australia. Mills was an afterthought -- he had never run better than 29 minutes (45 seconds behind Clarke's record time). The TV announcers gave him no props -- they never mentioned that he was a full-blooded Souix indian or an officer in the Marine corps.

    But when the race started, Lindgren rapidly fell behind, while Mills stayed in the lead pack with Clarke and a trio of African runners. For awhile, it looked like he was a rabbit, in the lead to set the pace while Clarke and the real challengers just coasted behind him. That appeared to be the case as they started the bell lap and Mohammod Gammoudi of Tunisia blew past him in the lead, giving him a little shove as he went by, causing Mills to stumble. Clarke used that moment to pass him. Mills and Clarke dueled down the backstretch for about 50-75 yards while Gammoudi opened up a 15-20 meter lead. Coming around the last turn, dodging thrrough runners being lapped, Clarke broke free from Mills and began to close on Gammoudi. In the final 50 yards, NBC announce Bud Palmer is calling Clarke's bid to catch Gammoudi when you hear NBC analyst Dick Banks starting screaming "LookatBillyMills! ... Look at Mills" . Banks fell into incoherent screaming as Mills exploded past Clarke and Gammouldi -- looking like he was shot out of a cannon.

    Okay, I found this video of the moment on youtube. I think it's the original call.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOj0zjPzg-c

    Anyway, a great, great moment. BTW, Mills ran the marathon two days later and finished a very respectable 14th.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I think Mills' victory in the 1964 10,000 meter finals is the single most thrilling moment I've ever had watching the Olympics -- and (as my screen name suggests) I am a huge fan of the games.

    Going into the race, the US had never done anything at that distance, but there was hope that Gerry Lindgren could challenge world record holder (and pre-race favorite) Ron Clarke of Australia. Mills was an afterthought -- he had never run better than 29 minutes (45 seconds behind Clarke's record time). The TV announcers gave him no props -- they never mentioned that he was a full-blooded Souix indian or an officer in the Marine corps.

    But when the race started, Lindgren rapidly fell behind, while Mills stayed in the lead pack with Clarke and a trio of African runners. For awhile, it looked like he was a rabbit, in the lead to set the pace while Clarke and the real challengers just coasted behind him. That appeared to be the case as they started the bell lap and Mohammod Gammoudi of Tunisia blew past him in the lead, giving him a little shove as he went by, causing Mills to stumble. Clarke used that moment to pass him. Mills and Clarke dueled down the backstretch for about 50-75 yards while Gammoudi opened up a 15-20 meter lead. Coming around the last turn, dodging thrrough runners being lapped, Clarke broke free from Mills and began to close on Gammoudi. In the final 50 yards, NBC announce Bud Palmer is calling Clarke's bid to catch Gammoudi when you hear NBC analyst Dick Banks starting screaming "LookatBillyMills! ... Look at Mills" . Banks fell into incoherent screaming as Mills exploded past Clarke and Gammouldi -- looking like he was shot out of a cannon.

    Okay, I found this video of the moment on youtube. I think it's the original call.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOj0zjPzg-c

    Anyway, a great, great moment. BTW, Mills ran the marathon two days later and finished a very respectable 14th.
    And American Bob Schul won the 5K that same Olympics, although he was one of the favorites. The greatest week ever for American distantance running.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NW Durham, NC

    Here is another video of Billy Mills...

    ... in color, incl. a short interview w/ Mills:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=vs6G8NfEyVk
    -BuschDevil

    "...Man, who even now finds scarce breathing room on this vast globe, cannot retire from the Old World to some yet undiscovered continent, and wait for the slow action of such causes to replace, by a new creation, the Eden he has wasted".
    -George Perkins Marsh (1864)

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