RENO, NV - "I remember when I was 9-years-old watching america win the gold medal and thinking, 'Ok, that's what I want to do,'" says Tamara McKinney.
The 3-time Alpine skiing Olympian and Squaw Valley native recalls having a drive to be active from a very young age. She wants to pass that passion for exercise along to the current generation of children.
"Whatever the kids are doing with the sports, doing that little bit of fitness can help everyone," says McKinney.
Tamara was joined by fellow Olympian Torrey Palmer at Glenn Duncan Elementary to promote the "World Fit" walking program kickoff.
"Research shows and we know that kids who are fit and healthy will be smarter, work harder, and be more successful in life," says Palmer.
The six-week national program put on by the National Olympian's Association is aimed at combatting childhood obesity by promoting fitness and the Olympic values. It's turned into a cross-country competition with schools measuring their walking totals in an online database.
"They had over 30,000 youths participate in it last year and they put in almost 3 million miles," says RTWGC Youth Outreach Coordinator Paul Heglar.
The Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition partnered with "World Fit", the Washoe County School District and McDonalds to launch the program locally and it's already turning into a big hit.
"I've already gotten two or three other schools that are going 'Well why can't we do it.' This could really just explode and expand which is really exciting, because we can get everybody off the couch and physically active," says Heglar.