In 1964 in Tokyo, the Olympic race was called "the greatest upset."
The man who pulled it off and the first American to win a gold medal in the 10,000-meter run, William "Billy" Mills spoke at Palm Springs High School's auditorium Wednesday afternoon as part of the start of Native American Week 2007.
"I was told the moment was magical. I was told it was electrifying. However, that is not what I took from sport," said Mills, an Oglala Lakota (Sioux) who was raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Instead, he said, he he learned life lessons.
Those life lessons included deciphering perceptions and promoting global unity through global diversity.
"I think he has a lot of good things about perceptions and the way Native Americans are presented through the media," said Laurie Lankhaar of Palm Springs. "Americans need to realize the perceptions of other cultures--especially Native Americans."