Ready, Set, Gold! is working to eliminate childhood obesity — one push-up at a time!
Obesity is one of the greatest health challenges facing our country, and related problems such as diabetes are on the rise as well. Experts agree that increased exercise is key to fighting obesity and that it’s important to start healthy habits early.
As the first and only program of its kind in the country, Ready, Set, Gold! tackles this epidemic problem by pairing Olympic and Paralympic star athletes with Los Angeles area public schools to promote student fitness and inspire a future generation of college and Olympic athletes.
Each athlete meets with their school’s physical education classes six times during the year to educate and motivate the students, and by extension their family members, toward a long and healthy drug-free life through fun physical activity and proper diet.
During the structured school visits, the Olympians and Paralympians exercise with the students and share stories of how they became world-class athletes and the importance fitness and nutrition played in their success.
A team of 50 Olympians/Paralympians is participating in the program this year (including 22 Olympic medalists). Ready, Set, Gold! operates in 60 elementary, middle and high schools, positively affecting approximately 17,000 students each year.
According to an extensive analysis of the most recent data, students at schools with a Ready, Set, Gold! program perform at a higher level on their rigorous California-mandated fitness test (aka FitnessGram) than students from schools without Ready, Set, Gold!
Ready, Set, Gold! is a non-profit organization and is primarily funded by Samsung, a worldwide Olympic and Paralympic sponsor. The program is free of charge to schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
First launched in 2006, Ready, Set, Gold! was created by the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games as a youth-focused charitable component of Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2016 Summer Games. Although the bid was unsuccessful (Rio de Janeiro won), organizers agreed to continue the program with the purpose of addressing the growing concerns of overweight children.
Ready, Set, Gold! is chaired by U.S. Olympic gold medalist Peter Vidmar (1984, Gymnastics).