Two-time Olympian and world figure skating champion Tai Babilonia hosted 50 students from Mulholland Middle School to a “skate date” last Thursday at Pickwick Ice Arena in Burbank.
The fun-filled outing was part of her involvement in the Ready, Set, Gold! program, which places local Olympic and Paralympic athletes into LAUSD classrooms to educate students on the importance of physical fitness and to motivate them to incorporate exercise into their daily lives.
Babilonia, 58, has visited Mulholland five times during the current academic year to lead students in workout activities and to encourage them to adopt healthy habits.
“This is my gift to the kids for all of their hard work, great grades and high scores on their physical fitness FitnessGram tests, and I hope it’s a day that they will all remember,” said Babilonia, a Los Angeles native.
Babilonia and skating partner Randy Gardner are regarded among the finest American pairs skaters of all time, winning five national championships, the 1979 World Championships, and they were selected to the 1976 and 1980 U.S. Olympic Team.