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.
The first and only program of its kind in the country, Ready, Set, Gold! tackles this epidemic problem by pairing Olympians and Paralympians with Los Angeles area public schools to promote student fitness and to hopefully inspire a future generation of college and Olympic athletes.
Each athlete meets with their “adopted” school’s physical education classes six times during the year to help educate and motivate the students toward a long and healthy drug-free life through fun physical activity and proper diet.
During the structured school visits, the Olympians 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 is participating in the program this year (including 21 medalists). Ready, Set, Gold! operates in 60 different elementary, middle and high schools, positively affecting approximately 17,000 students.
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 worldwide Olympic sponsor Samsung. 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).