Olympic swimming champion John Naber has been named chairman of the Ready, Set, Gold! program,
which combats the epidemic problem of childhood obesity by matching 50 Olympic and Paralympic
athletes with Los Angeles area public schools to promote student fitness. First launched in
2006 as part of Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games, each athlete visits
their assigned school six times during the academic year to educate youngsters on proper exercise
and to motivate them to live a healthy, active lifestyle.
Naber, who swam collegiately at USC, won four gold medals and one silver medal at
the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal, and is widely considered one of the finest
American swimmers ever.
“Exercise is key to fighting obesity, and it’s important to adopt healthy habits at an
early age,” said Naber. “That’s the message our Olympians and Paralympians
emphasize to the students.”
Ready, Set, Gold! is a program of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic
Games (SCCOG). The program currently operates in 60 LAUSD elementary, middle and high schools,
positively affecting 15,000 students each year. Naber succeeds founding chairman and 1984 Olympic
gold medal-winning gymnast Peter Vidmar.