Ready, Set, Gold! (RSG!), the first and only program of its kind in the country, tackles the epidemic problems of childhood obesity and chronic diseases by pairing Olympians and Paralympians with Los Angeles area public schools to help promote student fitness, nutrition and healthy living habits, and to hopefully inspire a whole new generation of Olympic athletes.
First launched in 2006, RSG! was created by the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games (SCCOG) 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 decided to continue the program with the purpose of addressing the growing concerns of childhood obesity.
Under Ready, Set, Gold! each Olympian is matched to a specific school and meets with the physical education classes five times during the school year to educate and motivate the students toward a long and healthy drug-free life through fun physical activity and good nutrition. During the structured school visits, Olympians exercise with the students and share their stories of how they became Olympians and the importance good fitness and nutrition played in their success.
A nonprofit, Ready, Set, Gold! is primarily funded by worldwide Olympic sponsor Samsung and currently operates in 50 elementary, middle and high schools throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District, positively affecting approximately 15,000 students each year.
Results show that students participating in RSG! perform at a higher level on their rigorous California-mandated fitness test (a.k.a. Fitnessgram) than students from schools without an RSG! program.
There are 41 Olympians participating in the program this year, including 15 medalists. RSG! is chaired by U.S. Olympic gold medalist Peter Vidmar (1984, Gymnastics).
Los Angeles is among a half-dozen American cities currently vying to host the 2024 Olympic Games and Ready, Set, Gold! is once again an integral part of the bid proposal.