BETA

In his brother's footsteps

In 1988, while watching his older brother, John Myles-Mills, head to Seoul, Korea, for the Olympic Games to represent his native Ghana, then-15-year-old Leonard Myles-Mills decided he'd one day be an Olympian.

In 1988, Leonard Myles-Mills watched his older brother, John, represent his native Ghana in the Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. The 15-year-old young man decided then and there that he would one day be an Olympian.

Four years later, Leonard watched again as his older brother competed in his second Olympics, in Barcelona, Spain. Leonard felt a renewed desire to match — maybe beat — his brother's accomplishments.

Now the brothers are even. Leonard Myles-Mills of the Sunset 10th Ward, Provo Utah Sunset Stake, competed in his first Olympics in the 2000 Sydney Games, reaching the semifinals in the 100-meter dash. His second Olympic competition will come in Athens where he will repeat in the 100-meter run and help his Ghanian 4x100 relay team strive for gold.

"I made my goal to go to the Olympics," he said. "If I'm there once, I can make it again."

"I want to go to one more Olympics to beat him," the now-31-year-old BYU track and field coach told the Church News. "I've beat all his times," he mused with friendly sibling rivalry.

He's proud to go to the Olympics under his country's flag. "It feels great," he said during a telephone interview during a layover in Atlanta, Ga., while en route to Athens. "It is another Olympic year and it's always an amazing opportunity to represent your nation."

He said his family, including parents John and Nora Myles-Mills back home in Accra, Ghana, are proud of him. But no more than his older brother. A little friendly rivalry is inspiration to do their best. When Leonard walked off the plane in Atlanta, "the first call I got was from him."

Because of John, the young Leonard left the soccer field in West Africa for the track field in Provo, Utah. The older brother had been recruited by BYU in 1988 during the Games and came to the United States to run for the Cougars. He told his coaches about his little brother — and Leonard's destiny was sealed.

Having already been introduced to the Church in Ghana, he was baptized in Provo in 1996. In December 1998, he married Tiffany Clawson in the Salt Lake Temple. They have two boys, Benjamin, 3, and Alexander, 2.

Since 2001, Brother Myles-Mills has been the sprinting coach for the Cougars. During his NCAA career, he won back-to-back titles in the 100-meter dash (1999 and 1998) and was a three-time All-American. He won the 100-meter dash in 1999 in the All-African Games.

E-mail to:[email protected]