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SGMA Honors National Health Through Fitness Day Athletes Who Won Gold in London

Date: 8/13/12

SILVER SPRING, MD – August 13, 2012 – During the recently completed Olympic Games in London, seven of the Olympic athletes in the U.S. delegation have attended at least one of SGMA’s past National Health Through Fitness (NHTF) Days. Of those seven athletes, six of them won a gold medal in London.

Four of the seven athletes were teammates who competed together on the women’s basketball team -- Swin Cash (2008 NHTF Day athlete), Tamika Catchings (2012 NHTF Day athlete), Lindsey Harding (2012 NHTF Day athlete), and Renee Montgomery (2010 NHTF Day athlete). The USA women’s basketball team won its fifth straight Olympic gold medal by defeating France 86-50. Abby Wambach (2010 NHTF Day athlete) represented the USA as the women’s soccer team won its third straight gold medal and fourth overall. In the finale, the U.S. defeated Japan, 2-1. At this year’s women’s Olympic soccer tournament, Wambach was the leading goal scorer for the U.S. with five goals. In women’s beach volleyball, Kerri Walsh-Jennings (2010 NHTF Day Athlete) won her third straight gold medal with longtime teammate Misty May-Treanor. The seventh U.S. athlete with ties to SGMA’s National Health Through Fitness Day was track and field runner Jenny Simpson (2011 and 2012 NHTF Day athlete) who was hoping to replicate her success at the 2011 IAAF World Championships where she won gold in the 1500 meters. At the Olympic Games in London, Simpson did not win a medal in the women’s 1500 meters, as she did not advance beyond the semi-finals of the women’s 1500 meters.

As an aside, Walsh-Jennings was featured in a full-page story in the current (August 13, 2012) edition of Sports Illustrated – on page 38. It’s also worth noting that, as a result of popularity of the women’s beach volleyball and the continued success of the Walsh-Jennings/May-Treanor team, Kerri Walsh-Jennings picked up another 26,420 followers on Twitter. The biggest ‘winner’ on Twitter during the Olympics was U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps who acquired another 935,636 followers on Twitter.

“The SGMA and our member companies are extremely proud of every U.S. Olympian who competed in the London Games and especially delighted to see the success that six of our past National Health Through Fitness Day athletes had while representing our country,” said SGMA President and CEO Tom Cove. “While the British felt one of the purposes of the Games was to ‘Inspire a Generation,’ I think it’s safe to say that the entire U.S. Olympic team has inspired millions of Americans to get active, which is one of the keys to fighting obesity.”

Since the inaugural National Health Through Fitness Day in 2001, SGMA has been able to raise nearly $800 million in federal funding for physical education programs across the country. The SGMA continues to support legislative efforts such as the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) as well as the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act which would expand the definition of eligible reimbursement expenses from pre-tax accounts to cover physical activity costs.

For more information on National Health Through Fitness Day, the legislative initiatives discussed above, or to inquire as to how you can help, please call SGMA at 301.495.6321 or e-mail info@sgma.com.

The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products industry. SGMA helps lead the sports and fitness industries by promoting favorable public policies, fostering participation through research, thought leadership and product promotion. More information about SGMA membership, SGMA public policy platform, and SGMA's National Health Through Fitness Day can be found at www.SGMA.com.

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