Thursday, June 24, 2010

Carl Edwards named to President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

NASCAR driver one of 16 individuals chosen by President Obama to be on special panel

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2010) – First Lady Michelle Obama joined kids from the Washington, D.C. area Wednesday to launch the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and introduce the 2010 Council co-chairs and members.  

In conjunction with the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, this year President Obama has broadened the scope of the Council, formerly known as the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, to include a focus on healthy eating as well as active lifestyles. Yesterday, the President signed an Executive Order outlining the Council’s new emphasis on both good nutrition and physical fitness.


The President has named Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, and Dominique Dawes, three-time Olympian and former U.S. national champion in women’s gymnastics, 2010 Council Co-Chairs.  Dawes delivered remarks at the event and Brees recorded a video message that was shown there.


Council Executive Director, Shellie Pfohl, was also in attendance. Joining Dawes and Pfohl at the event were 2010 council members Dan Barber, Tedy Bruschi, Allyson Felix, Michelle Kwan, Curtis Pride, Donna Richardson Joyner, Dr. Ian Smith, Cornell McClellan, Dr. Stephen McDonough and Carl Edwards

"It's a group that I'm honored to be a part of,” Edwards said. “I look forward to working with the Council, the President and First Lady to help kids better understand the importance and the fun of being fit and eating well."

Following the announcement, the First Lady, Pfohl and the council members joined the kids in participating in a series of activity stations.

“This year we’re expanding the work of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition to include not just a focus on active lifestyles, but on healthy eating, too," Mrs. Obama said. “The Council will play an important role in our effort to help combat childhood obesity in this country and I am grateful to the athletes, chefs, doctors and nutrition experts who are volunteering their time on the Council to help make a difference.”

"This Council, as I said, is made up of everyone -- chefs, doctors, health experts, personal trainers," Mrs. Obama said.  "We’ve got our Olympic gold medalists.  We’ve got a NASCAR driver.  We’ve got NBA all-stars, tennis legends.  We’ve got it all because we know in the end, kids listen to these heroes in so many ways."


The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition is a committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about opportunities to develop accessible, affordable and sustainable physical activity, fitness, sports and nutrition programs for all Americans regardless of age, background or ability. The Council’s mission is to engage, educate and empower all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition.  For more information about the Council and its members, visit www.fitness.gov.

In addition to its presidential advisory role, the Council promotes and maintains the President’s Challenge Physical Activity and Fitness Awards program (President’s Challenge) which encourages all Americans to include physical activity – 30 minutes per day for adults and 60 minutes per day for youth – in their daily lives.  For more information about the President’s Challenge programs, visit www.presidentschallenge.org.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition:

  • Drew Brees, Appointee for Co-Chair, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Drew Brees is the 2009 Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.  During Mr. Brees’s nine year career, he has been elected to four Pro Bowls, named the 2004 Comeback player of the Year, a member of the 2006 All-Pro Team, the 2006 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, the 2008 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, and Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP.  Mr. Brees and his wife, Brittany, established the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 and have raised or committed more than $5.5 million to advance cancer research, care for cancer patients, and rebuild schools, parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields in New Orleans, San Diego, and the Purdue/West Lafayette, Indiana communities.  He attended Purdue University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from the Krannert School of Management while lettering in football from 1997-2000.

  • Dominique Dawes, Appointee for Co-Chair, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Dominique Dawes is an Olympic gymnast who competed in three Olympic Games and has a permanent place in the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame. She was a member of the gold-medal-winning team at the 1996 Atlanta Games, where she also won a bronze medal in the floor exercise, becoming the first female African-American gymnast to win an individual medal. Now retired after dedicating 18 years to the sport, Ms. Dawes commits her time to motivational speaking, hosting gymnastics clinics, and serving as a spokesperson for several organizations that support the physical and emotional health of youth and women. She is an accomplished motivational speaker, speaking to audiences on topics focusing on leadership, teamwork, physical and emotional health, fitness and overcoming obstacles.

  • Dan Barber, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Dan Barber is a New York-based chef and co-owner of Blue Hill restaurant where he features locally and sustainably grown foods. An advocate for local foods and good nutrition, Mr. Barber has addressed these issues through op-eds in the New York Times and articles in Gourmet, Saveur, and Food and Wine Magazine. His writing has appeared in the annual “Best Food Writing” anthology for the past five years. He has also teamed on projects with Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, and New York City’s Greenmarkets. In 2009, Time Magazine recognized him as one of the world’s most influential people of the year and he was named the top chef in America by the James Beard Foundation.

  • Tedy Bruschi, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Tedy Bruschi is a former football player who spent 13 years playing for the NFL’s New England Patriots, claiming three Super Bowl rings. Mr. Bruschi is a spokesman for the American Heart Association and serves on the Board of Trustees of Partners Continuing Care.  He is a founder of Tedy’s Team, a foundation that aims to raise funds for stroke research, inspired by Mr. Bruschi’s own experience. A stroke after the 2005 season left Mr. Bruschi with partial paralysis and uncovered a congenital heart defect. After making a full recovery, he returned to form on the field, leading his team in tackles for two seasons after his recovery.  Mr. Bruschi played in the Pro Bowl in 2005 and twice won the Ed Block Courage Award, presented to those who are voted by their teammates to be role models of inspiration, sportsmanship, and courage. In 2006, he awarded with the Senator Paul E. Tsongas Award for Exemplary Public Service.

  • Carl Edwards, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Carl Edwards is a championship NASCAR driver and currently in the top 10 in the overall standings for both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series. In the first 10 years of his career, Mr. Edwards has accumulated two NASCAR sanctioned track championships, three Rookie-of-the-Year honors, and more than 75 feature wins while racing on both dirt and pavement tracks across the country. In 2008, he won the Tag Heuer Top Racecar Driver of the Year Award, the NASCAR.COM Driver of the Year, and the National Motorsports Press Association voted him as the Richard Petty Driver of the Year.  He also supports charities including the Speedway Children’s Charities, Dream Factory, and Victory Junction Gang Camp.

  • Allyson Felix, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Allyson Felix is an accomplished Olympic gold medal track and field sprint athlete who helped the U.S. women’s 4x400 meter relay team secure victory in the Beijing 2008 games. In the 200 meters, she is also a two-time Olympic silver medalist, a three-time World Outdoor champion, and a five-time USA Outdoor champion. When Ms. Felix won the 2009 World Outdoor Championships, she made history as the first woman to ever win three world 200-meter titles. She additionally has won two gold medals with the World Outdoor 4x400 meter relay team and another in the World Outdoor 4x100 meter relay. Ms. Felix’s speed helped her become the World Junior record holder in 2005 when she clocked 22.18 in the 200 meters as an 18-year old.

  • Grant Hill, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Grant Hill is a professional basketball player with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. He has made seven appearances in the NBA All-Star Game and won a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta as a member of the U.S. men’s basketball team. On the court, he is lauded as one of the best all-around players in the game, recognized for his skill and sportsmanship. He has won the NBA Sportsmanship Award three times, the only person to have received the honor more than once.  He and his wife, Tamia, are dedicated to multiple service organizations, including the Tamia & Grant Hill Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Grant and Tamia Hill Athletic Scholarship Endowment Fund.

  • Billie Jean King, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles tennis titles, including a record 20 titles at Wimbledon. She left a mark on the sport and the women’s movement during the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” match, in which she defeated Bobby Riggs, a former number one player in the world.  Ms. King founded the Women’s Tennis Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and co-founded World TeamTennis, a co-ed professional tennis league. She was named a “Global Mentor for Gender Equality” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2008, received the NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award in 2009 for her contributions to improving higher education and intercollegiate athletics, and earlier this year was honored with the Beacon of Change Award from Major League Baseball. In August 2009, Ms. King was awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor.

  • Michelle Kwan, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Michelle Kwan is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history.  She has won five world championships, nine U.S. national championships and silver and bronze Olympic medals.  In 2001 she received the Sullivan Award, given to the top amateur athlete in America and in 2003 she was awarded the U.S. Olympic Committee Sports Woman of the Year.  Ms. Kwan currently serves as a public diplomacy envoy, an unpaid position with the U.S. State Department, charged with engaging young people in dialogue on social and educational issues. She is also pursuing a master’s in international affairs at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, having graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in international studies in 2008.

  • Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey is the President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropic organization devoted to improving health and health care. She is the first woman and the first African American to lead the $8 billion Foundation. Among its major efforts to improve the nation’s health, the Foundation has committed $500 million toward rolling back the epidemic of childhood obesity.  Before joining the foundation, Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey was a leader in academic medicine, government service, and her medical specialty of geriatrics. During her tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, she served as a professor and the director of the University’s Institute on Aging. She also served as the deputy administrator of what is now the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and her M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. In 2009, Forbes named Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey one of the world’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

  • Cornell McClellan, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Cornell McClellan, the owner of Naturally Fit, Inc., is the fitness consultant and personal trainer for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. A black belt in Karate, Mr. McClellan has managed a youth fitness program and coached many young athletes in his more than 30-year health and wellness career. He has also helped train several weight lifting enthusiasts who earned the titles of Mr. Illinois, Mr. U.S.A., Mr. America and Mr. Universe. Additionally committed to good nutrition, Mr. McClellan educates clients about food and has served on the international board for Earth Save, an organization that promotes healthy eating choices and helps people transition toward healthy plant-based diets. He contributes weekly to the Chicago Sun-Times, writing on issues of health and physical fitness.

  • Dr. Stephen McDonough, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Dr. Stephen McDonough has worked for 30 years as a pediatrician in North Dakota.  Dr. McDonough spent more than fifteen years in senior positions at the North Dakota Department of Health.  During his time at the Department of Health, Dr. McDonough led efforts to prevent smoking and combat childhood obesity in North Dakota.  A longtime faculty member at the University of North Dakota Medical School, he has also published articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and Pediatrics, authored a book on the history of public health in North Dakota, and worked for more than a decade with Boy Scouts of America. Dr. McDonough graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Colorado in Denver.

  • Chris Paul, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Chris Paul is a professional basketball player and team captain for the National Basketball Association’s New Orleans Hornets. In 2006, Mr. Paul was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 2006 and won an Olympic Gold Medal with the United States national basketball team. A native of Winston-Salem, NC and an All-American at Wake Forest University, Paul currently holds the NBA record for consecutive games with a steal (108). He was a 2008-2009 NBA All-Defensive First Team selection and 2009-2010 Second Team selection. Off the court, Mr. Paul started the CP3 Foundation with his family in 2006 to support his philanthropic efforts in both Winston-Salem and New Orleans, which include refurbishing basketball courts and establishing scholarships.
  • Curtis Pride, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Curtis Pride is the head baseball coach at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, and a retired Major League Baseball player.  In 1996 as a member of the Detroit Tigers, Mr. Pride became the first regular full-season deaf player in the modern history of major league baseball. At the close of his career in 2008, he had played 421 games, achieved a .250 career batting average, 20 home runs, and 82 runs batted in. Prior to his professional career, his athletic proficiency spanned several sports. In high school he was a member of the U.S. soccer team that participated in the Junior World Cup in Beijing. In college he played part-time professional baseball for the Mets organization while also attending the College of William and Mary as a four-year starting point guard in basketball. In addition to coaching, Mr. Pride is active in the community, particularly with his Together With Pride foundation which aids hearing impaired children.

  • Donna Richardson Joyner, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Donna Richardson Joyner is a fitness instructor who has spent more than 20 years working to educate, empower, and energize children, women, and families about living healthy lifestyles. She has starred in more than 25 award-winning fitness videos, including “Sweating in the Spirit,” and “Body Gospel.” Ms. Richardson Joyner has served on the Women’s Sports Foundation Board of Trustees, is an advisory board member for the Boys and Girls Club of America, and serves on the national advisory board of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity.  She has lectured and conducted wellness seminars at schools and community centers in more than 30 countries. In 2006 Ms. Richardson Joyner was inducted into the Fitness Hall of Fame and named by Essence Magazine as one of the 25 most inspiring women in America.

  • Ian Smith, Appointee for Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition
Ian Smith is a prominent healthy-living advocate. He is best known for his promotion of the 50 Million Pound Challenge and his contributions to TV and radio programs including “Rachael Ray”, “The View”, “Celebrity Fit Club”, and HealthWatch. Dr. Smith is also the author of seven books which include three New York Times bestsellers on nutrition. He currently serves on the national advisory board for the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Dr. Smith attended Dartmouth Medical School before completing the last two years of his medical education at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. He received his master’s in science education from Teachers College of Columbia University and undergraduate degree from Harvard College.

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