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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Three-Time Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno to Address Largest Gathering of Physical Educators in 2011
RESTON, VA, January 31, 2011– Apolo Anton Ohno, the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian of all- time and the spokesperson for The Century Council's Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix, will attend the Celebration of Professional Excellence Reception of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) at the 2011 AAHPERD National Convention & Exposition in San Diego, CA on Thursday, March 31. Ohno's appearance is a part of NASPE's recently announced new partnership with The Century Council to help educate youth about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and the consequences of underage drinking.
Over 5,000 physical education teachers, coaches and other physical activity professionals are expected to attend the 126th annual convention of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), March 29 – April 2. Earlier that day hundreds of San Diego schoolchildren will participate in a special Let's Move in School Showcase, featuring activities to get children moving throughout the school day, at PETCO Park.
"We are thrilled that Apolo will join us for this largest gathering of physical educators in 2011," says NASPE President Lynn Couturier, chair of the Physical Education Department, State University of New York at Cortland. "Known not only for his athletic prowess, Apolo delighted the world as the champion of ABC's Dancing with the Stars in season 4 with partner Julieanne Hough and he also serves as an excellent role model for young people with his focus on a healthy lifestyle."
"The decisions I made as a young teen heavily influenced where I am today. In fact, many of the decisions I've made off-the-ice have contributed most to my success," said Ohno, winner of eight Olympic medals in short-track speed skating.
As the spokesperson for the Ask, Listen, Learn program, Ohno continues to encourage youth to say "YES" to a healthy lifestyle and "NO" to underage drinking. At stops along his new book Zero Regrets book tour, Apolo meets with Ask, Listen, Learn partners, including parents and teens, to highlight the importance of making smart decisions.
"I truly believe that healthy habits and positive choices start in childhood, which is why I'm proud to establish my own Foundation and work with The Century Council to spread healthy messages, including 'say no' to underage drinking."
Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of The Century Council stated, "One of the secrets of Apolo's tremendous success has been his special relationship with his father, Yuki. The Ask, Listen, Learn program encourages parents to talk to their sons and daughters about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and the consequences of underage drinking."
To learn more about the 2011 AAHPERD National Convention & Exposition, go to http://www.aahperd.org/convention. The latest issues, trends and concerns in the physical education and physical activity professions will be addressed that week by more than 400 program sessions and special events as well as an exciting exposition of nearly 300 exhibitors. It begins Tuesday, March 29 with a look to the future with the PE2020 Forum.
Ask, Listen, Learn
Also online, Ask, Listen, Learn's website, www.asklistenlearn.com, encourages kids to pledge to make healthy choices and to say "yes" to a healthy lifestyle and "no" to underage drinking. The website features "SuperStars" including Apolo Anton Ohno who send positive messages to kids about staying fit and active. The website also provides parents with information and strategies to help jumpstart and continue the conversation about the dangers of underage drinking.
Paula Keyes Kun
Society of Health and Physical Educators