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Bay Area Students “Walk to the Olympics” – PAMF Donates Pedometers

Students of the Peninsula Bridge summer school program in Palo Alto are celebrating the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London in a unique and healthy way – they are walking 5,731 miles (the distance from the Bay Area to London) from June 25 to July 27, the day the Olympics start. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) donated pedometers to the participating students and their teachers to help them track their progress and reach their goal.

Peninsula Bridge helps motivated middle-school students from under-resourced local communities achieve academic and personal success through a variety of programs. Their five-week, tuition-free summer program held on several Bay Area private school campuses also encourages students to develop healthy habits. This year’s “Walk to the Olympics” event is motivating students to work as a team to achieve their own Olympic goal together.

To kick off the walk in true Olympic style, the Peninsula Bridge summer school program team held an opening ceremony on June 25 at the stadium of Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton for the 500 participating students. The event included an Olympic torch relay and speeches by three former Olympians and medalists: Anne Warner Cribbs (swimming), Chris Dorst (water polo) and Patrick Burrows (field hockey).

“It was inspiring to see hundreds of middle school students come into the stadium surrounded by so much support – the excited teen leaders from the sponsoring private schools, their teachers, the Peninsula Bridge leaders and Board members and the former Olympians,” says Becky Beacom, PAMF health education manager who attended the event and helped coordinate the donation of pedometers.

“All these people see the potential in these bright young students and are giving them an incredible opportunity. As a health educator, I’m thrilled that our pedometers will be in daily use and that physical activity will be incorporated into Math, English and good old summer fun,!” said Beacom.

You can track the students’ progress on the Peninsula Bridge website.

Also gearing up for the 2012 London Olympics and supporting Team USA, PAMF physicians provided medical care for the athletes, USA Gymnastics officials and coaches, at the to 2012 Olympic Gymnastics Trials recently held at San Jose’s HP Pavillion, June 2012.

PAMF has two U.S. Olympians on its staff.  1996 Olympic gymnastics team gold-medalist Amy Chow, M.D., is a pediatrician at PAMF’s Dublin Center, and two-time U.S. cycling Olympian Christine Thorburn, M.D., is a staff rheumatologist.

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