2012 Santa Fe Thunder Honoree

Abraham Kosgei, Billy Mills and Joseph Karnes, Heard Museum, Phoenix AZ

Billy Mills

Billy enjoyed a singular moment. Accelerating with the “wings of an eagle” past lapped runners, Mohammed Gammoudi and Ron Clarke, on the final turn of the 1964 Olympic 10,000M run in Tokyo, Billy achieved an iconic victory of the human spirit. Billy and his wife Patricia made the most of the opportunities that followed, dedicating their lives to spreading the message of positivity and helping children through his foundation, Running Strong for American Indian Youth. As he has for decades, Billy travels constantly, inspiring all with his vivid stories of perseverance and being happy in your life.

Running Strong has provided material support to Global Running Culture, benefiting children in northern New Mexico, Kenya, and Copper Canyon, Mexico and we look forward to every visit with Billy and Pat. Their positive attitude strengthens our resolve and their tremendous work on behalf of Native American youth demonstrates that we are on the right path. Billy and our 2017 honoree have been friends since “back in the day” and we are hopeful that they will be able to meet during our 2017 honoree’s visit to the United States (that’s a hint…).