A world champion sprinter who won a silver medal this summer for the United States at the London Olympics, Gay recently spent a day running, jumping and dancing with 150 DC Public Schools students as part of the second annual Let's Move in School Showcase. Turner Elementary hosted the party, which students from Johnson Middle and Ballou Senior High also attended.
What did you talk about between breaths?
I've been talking to the kids about underage drinking and living a healthy lifestyle. It's a personal issue for me because I personally avoided peer pressure in middle school and had friends who did drugs and didn't graduate from high school. I shared with them that I'm 30 and I've never had a sip of alcohol. They were all shocked and amazed, but I told them about resisting peer pressure. It's nice to see kids this age wanting to be positive about a healthy lifestyle.
Let's Move in School is all about getting 60 minutes of exercise a day. Did you wear the kids out?
We went outside and had the kids run around the track, and they had a great time trying to beat each other.
Notice any future Tyson Gays?
I did, to be honest with you! I really wanted to talk to some of the kids, but I stayed in my place. I talked to the coach, and he said some of them are trying out for the track team, which is good. It's amazing at this age, too, the girls keeping up with the boys. And so I shared my experience with them; I let them hold my medal and see how big it was. They were amazed by how heavy it was and couldn't believe that I wear it around my neck. They were also humble and so excited just to meet me.
Did you exercise a lot as a kid?
Yes! Growing up, I would race with my sister.