Apolo Ohno to Chicago Kids: Don't Drink

Olympic champion stresses importance of healthy lifestyle choices to fifth, sixth graders

By BJ Lutz
|  Tuesday, Mar 9, 2010  |  Updated 4:59 PM CDT
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Apolo Ohno and the Century Council bring interactive and educational games to Chicago's Smith Elementary School.

Apolo Ohno and the Century Council bring interactive and educational games to Chicago's Smith Elementary School.

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The most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian in history was in Chicago on Tuesday, bringing a message of a healthy lifestyle and abstinence from underage drinking to a group of elementary school children.

Apolo Anton Ohno and his foundation, in partnership with The Century Council, brought the Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix program to fifth and sixth grade students at Smith W. Elementary School on the city's Southeast Side.

He said he hopes the program will start a dialogue between children and their parents about the virtues of living healthy and not growing up too quickly.

"Middle school for me was a turning point in my life, and to allow ... kids a chance to explore sports, a chance to go out and play -- you know, a lot of kids don't have that luxury -- I'd love to just be building playgrounds all over the place, where kids have the opportunity to play and be themselves and be active and be healthy," he said.

The post-Olympic stop in Chicago was the fourth of five cities he'll visit.  So far the tour has hit New York City, Denver and Los Angeles.  Ohno will be in Seattle, his hometown, on Friday.

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