Jordan Marie D., is an avid runner from the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, and like so many athletes in Indian country she found great inspiration in the story of Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills, Lakota. She also comes from a family of runners. "My grandfather took me for my first run when I was 10," Jordan says. "He is a good friend of the great Billy Mills and was up and coming during that time with Billy. My mother was a sprinter, training for the '88 Olympics and my grandfather was the distance runner."
Jordan is currently based in the Washington, DC area (Arlington, Virginia), and has a shot to be on the cover of Runner's World, the most prestigious magazine published for the running community. She needs Indian country's help -- you can vote for Jordan in the Runner's World Cover Contest.
Jordan cites two accomplishments of which she is most proud as a runner: Finishing fifth in the East Coast Athletic Conference championship (at the mile/1500m distance) while in college, and finishing in the top 10 in the 2011 Boston Half Marathon.
In the Runner's World Cover Contest, she is up against hundreds of other runners. For the vast numbers of American Indians who enjoy and excel at running, Jordan would be an impressive ambassador. To the question of "Why is running important to you?", Jordan answers:
Because it's been in my family, and I want to keep that going. It gives me freedom. It's my escape where there is nothing but me and the road. I run for me, I run for my people in Indian Country, and to make them proud; that my accomplishments, are theirs. I've been able to serve as a role model to kids that I've worked with, and to share that passion in hopes of inspiring a young mind, brings me the greatest joy.