WBEZ | Gabby Douglas http://www.wbez.org/tags/gabby-douglas Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Michelle Obama to Chicago kids: 'I am you' http://www.wbez.org/news/michelle-obama-chicago-kids-i-am-you-105794 <p><p>Imagine students learning their ABCs while dancing, or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks.</p><p>Some schools are using both methods of instruction, and Michelle Obama would like to see more of them use other creative ways to help students get the recommended hour of daily exercise.</p><p>In Chicago Thursday, the first lady announced a new public-private partnership to help schools do just that. &quot;Let&#39;s Move Active Schools&quot; starts with a website, www.letsmoveschools.org , where school officials and others can sign up to get started.</p><p>Mrs. Obama said too many penny-pinched schools have either cut spending on physical education or eliminated it outright to put the money toward classroom instruction. But the first lady who starts most days with a workout &mdash; and other advocates of helping today&#39;s largely sedentary kids move their bodies &mdash; say that&#39;s a false choice, since studies that show exercise helps youngsters focus and do well in school.</p><p>The effort is one of the newest parts of Mrs. Obama&#39;s 3-year-old campaign against childhood obesity, known as &quot;Let&#39;s Move,&quot; which she has spent the week promoting.</p><p>&quot;With each passing year, schools feel like it&#39;s just getting harder to find the time, the money and the will to help our kids be active. But just because it&#39;s hard doesn&#39;t mean we should stop trying,&quot; the first lady said. &quot;It means we should try harder. It means that all of us &mdash; not just educators, but businesses and nonprofits and ordinary citizens &mdash; we all need to dig a little deeper, start getting more creative.&quot;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/all.jpg" style="float: left; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Michelle Obama with athletes and kids in Chicago. (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" /></div><p>She was joined at McCormick Place in her hometown by several Olympians, including gymnasts Dominique Dawes and Gabby Douglas, sprinter Allyson Felix, tennis player Serena Williams and decathlete Ashton Eaton, along with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and triathlete Sarah Reinertsen, whose left leg was amputated above the knee when she was a child, and other athletes. Thousands of students from city middle schools also were being brought in for the event.</p><p>Research shows that daily exercise has a positive influence on academic performance, but kids today spend too much time sitting, mostly in school but also outside the classroom while watching TV, playing video games or surfing the Internet. Federal guidelines recommend that children ages 6-17 get at least 60 minutes of exercise daily, which can be racked up through multiple spurts of activity throughout the day.</p><p>The White House says the most current data, from 2007, shows that just 4 percent of elementary schools, 8 percent of middle schools and 2 percent of high schools provided daily physical education.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/arneduncan.jpg" style="float: right; height: 450px; width: 300px;" title="Arne Duncan (WBEZ/Andrew Gill)" />Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he&#39;s proof of the link between exercise and academic performance. As a boy, he said, he had a hard time sitting still in class but that exercise helped him focus.</div><p>&quot;What&#39;s true for me is true for many of our nation&#39;s children,&quot; he said in an interview.</p><p>Duncan, who played basketball professionally in Australia, said the choice is not between physical activity or academics, especially with about one-third of U.S. kids either overweight or obese and at higher risk for life-threatening illnesses like heart disease or diabetes.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s got to be both,&quot; he said. Duncan cited the examples of students learning the alphabet while dancing or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks.</p><p>Mrs. Obama called on school staff, families and communities to help get 50,000 schools, about half the number of public schools in the U.S., involved in the program over the next five years.</p><p>The President&#39;s Council on Fitness, Sports &amp; Nutrition, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation &amp; Dance, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation will oversee the program. Funding and other resources will come from Nike Inc., the GENYOUth Foundation, ChildObesity180, Kaiser Permanente and the General Mills Foundation.</p><p>Under the new initiative, modest grants will be available from the Education Department to help some programs get started. The GENYOUth Foundation and ChildObesity180 also will be awarding grants.</p><p>Nike has committed $50 million to the effort over the next five years; the remaining groups together have pledged more than $20 million.</p><p>Williams said it&#39;s important to structure the activity so that it doesn&#39;t feel like a workout.</p><p>&quot;I had fun and I didn&#39;t realize it was work,&quot; she said about her years of practice before becoming one of America&#39;s top tennis players.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/FDqi4YzCYcw?rel=0" width="620"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 17:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/michelle-obama-chicago-kids-i-am-you-105794 A women's gymnastics all-around individual final means more genuine reactions, for good or bad http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/womens-gymnastics-all-around-individual-final-means-more-genuine-reactions-good-or <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gym%20hair.jpg" style="height: 347px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><p>Let&#39;s start off with this intense hair, which is in braids and done with sparkly red, white and blue gel. I recently read that synchonized swimmers need to take a hot shower for an hour to get the gelatin out of their hair they use for performing. Hopefully this took less time.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/hair%202.jpg" style="height: 422px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/not%20excited.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><p>Ashleigh did not look happier after this routine; she fell on her butt.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gabby%20moving.jpg" style="height: 383px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/sports/olympic-gold-gary-proud-101393">Gabby Douglas</a> was clearly the favorite to win this, and no number of camera cuts to Jordyn Wieber pouting in the audience could ruin that. She nabbed the gold, while the Russian Victoria Komova took silver. At first, her teammate Aliya Mustafina&nbsp;was tied with USA&#39;s Aly Raisman for third, which is basically amazing, given how all over the place Raisman&#39;s beam routine was. But Mustafina won the tiebreaker, and that was that. (How that works, according to the announcers: They take the combined execution score of each to figure out who should win.)</p><div class="image-insert-image ">Douglas&#39; win meant that the USA has won the women&#39;s all-around for three years in a row, making her, <a href="http://www.latimes.com/sports/olympics/olympicsnow/la-sp-on-gabrielle-douglas-gymastics-allaround-20120802,0,4598156.story">according to the LATimes</a>, to be &quot;the first African-American Olympics all-around gold medalist.&quot; In 1996, Dominique Dawes became the first black person of any nationality or gender or win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics, period.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gabby%20wins.jpg" style="height: 363px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/tears.jpg" style="height: 345px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Komova could not even fake excitement about getting silver. But see how the buffering wheel on my computer feels for her.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/girls%20congrat.jpg" style="height: 362px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/russians%20pet.jpg" style="height: 377px; width: 620px; " title="" /></div><p>In your time of need, always pet your teammate.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="https://twitter.com/timakimoff/status/231075726558896128"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/we%27re%20reacting.JPG" style="width: 620px; height: 620px; " title="" /></a></div><p>Or <a href="https://twitter.com/timakimoff/status/231075726558896128">freak-out with your coworkers</a>.</p></p> Thu, 02 Aug 2012 11:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/womens-gymnastics-all-around-individual-final-means-more-genuine-reactions-good-or