DALLAS, Texas, May 14. AT the U.S. Olympic Committee media summit today, U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama made an appearance to tout the Let's Move! Initiative. Not only did she speak about the program built to fight childhood obesity, but she was also introduced by U.S. swimming superstar Natalie Coughlin.
USA Swimming, along with a multitude of other national governing bodies and other Olympic movement entities, are thrown their weight behind the Let's Move! Initiative, that also includes a new web site, AHealthierAmerica.org/Olympics, to help families find affiliated sports programs in their area.
“This year, 1.7 million young people will be participating in Olympic and Paralympic sports in their communities – many of them for the very first time. And that is so important, because sometimes all it takes is that first lesson, or clinic, or class to get a child excited about a new sport,” Obama said. “So this summer, together with our children, we can support Team USA not just by cheering them on, but by striving to live up to the example they set. In the end, some of these athletes will bring home the gold, but all of them will make our country proud, and all of them will inspire a generation of young people to get active, to strive for excellence, and to pursue whatever dreams they may hold in their hearts.”
Obama had the full support of Coughlin, as well as USA Swimming, at the media summit.
“It was extremely important to my parents that I was active from an early age,” Coughlin said. “I started swimming competitively at age 6 to make friends, be active and be healthy. It wasn't important to my parents that I win ribbons or trophies, but it was important that I was active and dedicated to something in addition to school. Not only did it feed my competitive drive and help me be healthy, but it made me a better student and a better kid. To join with the First Lady and spread that message is truly an honor.”
In conjunction with the Partnership for a Healthier America, USA Swimming has pledged to enroll 530,000 new learn-to-swim participants in the “Make a Splash” program. Additionally, USA Swimming will engage 70,000 new youth members through its local chapters. In all, USA Swimming will provide beginner programming to 600,000 young people in 2012.