Oct 2021

Ready, Set, Gold! Launches 2021-2022 School Year Program Hosted by Top Olympians and Paralympians

Two-time Olympians Jordan Wilimovsky and Donald Suxho Kick Off Virtual Series Providing Fitness and Nutrition Tips as Part of Social...
Michaela Reynolds
3 min

Two-time Olympians Jordan Wilimovsky and Donald Suxho Kick Off Virtual Series Providing Fitness and Nutrition Tips as Part of Social Emotional Learning for Students of All Grade Levels; Offered In-Person and Virtually for the First Time - from October 17, 2021 through June 5, 2022.


Ready, Set, Gold! (RSG!), the 501(c)3 community program that matches Olympic and Paralympic athletes with schools to promote fitness and life-long healthy habits to students of all grade levels, has launched a monthly virtual series for the 2021-2022 school year featuring tips and firsthand advice from Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Each 30-minute video covers a thematic topic focused on evidence-based physical activity and social emotional learning, and after Oct. 17, a new video will be released the first Sunday of every month through June 5. This will allow students to work on the curriculum goals in each video over time and notice their progress as a result. Registration is free at ReadySetGold.net.

The Ready, Set, Gold!’s Virtual Series kicks off with two-time Olympic swimmer Jordan Wilimovsky (October 17) who is hosting the first video entitled “Balance and Embracing Challenges”, and will be followed by two-time Olympic volleyball player Donald Suxho who will lead the lesson “Be Present and Mindful, Fitness: Strength” on November 7.

Jordan Wilmovsky (Malibu, Calif.) - Malibu native Wilmovsky is a two-time Olympian and three-time World Championship medalist (1 gold, 2 silvers). The Northwestern University alum started swimming at age 9 after he was declined admission to a summer camp due to his inability to swim a 1:50 in the 100-yard freestyle in prior years. He went on to play water polo and surfed before finding his way back to swimming.

Donald Suxho (Huntington Beach, Calif.) - Suxho grew up in Albania until the age of 18, when his country became overrun with war/chaos and he could no longer play sports with friends. Determination kept him practicing (alone most of the time) until he deemed it was too dangerous to stay in Albania, and moved to the US. Suxho worked multiple jobs to support himself and tried out for multiple volleyball clubs, and ended up earning a full scholarship at USC. From there, he went on to become a two-time Olympic athlete.

Additional confirmed athletes participating in this year’s RSG!’s Virtual Series include Mackenzie Soldan (Paralympic Tennis Wheelchair), Natalia Mayara (Paralympic Tennis Wheelchair), David Garza (Paralympic Soccer) and Tri Bourne (Olympic Beach Volleyball). For the most updated schedule and athlete lineup, visit ReadySetGold.net. Additionally, RSG! is thrilled to return to in-person visits as part of their program, subject to change depending on CDC recommendations and tailored to the preferences of each school and athlete mentors.

Thanks to the support of the Foundation for Global Sports Development & Sidewinder Films, Ready, Set, Gold!, every video in the athlete-led series features an activity portion highlighting the core fitness fundamentals of endurance, flexibility, balance and strength training as well as thematic units around topics including goal-setting, perseverance and leadership. Brought to life by the real, personal experiences of RSG!’s Olympic and Paralympic mentors, the content supports teachers as they work to enhance engagement for students.

“After 13 years of in-person appearances and two virtual series in 2020, Ready, Set, Gold! is now thrilled to offer a blend of both experiences over the span of the 2021-2022 school year. This year, our Olympians and Paralympians will take a deeper dive into the social emotional learning topic they are leading, which will allow more time for the students to absorb the lessons and to apply them over a longer period of time,” said John Naber, Chairman of Ready, Set, Gold!. “We are proud of our collaboration with the educators as we developed the topics and curriculum over the years into what it is today. This compliments the valuable SEL lesson plans put forth by each district and, as always, we look forward to connecting with students – which for us, is the best part.”

The Foundation for Global Sports Development (GSD) and Sidewinder Films serve as long-time champions of Ready, Set, Gold! and are a key supporter for this innovative project.

“Ready, Set, Gold! is empowering and inspiring youth to stay active and prioritize their mental well-being at a time when young people are most in need of this kind of mentorship,” said David Ulich, GSD Executive Board Member. “We are proud to partner with RSG! and support youth as they grow and learn with the Olympians and Paralympians.”

With the exception of 2020, Ready, Set, Gold! has traditionally hosted in-classroom programs since 2006 serving the Los Angeles Unified School District and ICEF, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Chula-Vista Elementary Unified School District and Claremont Unified School District. Past participating athletes have included Giddeon Massie, Kristy Kowal, Nicole Branagh, Linyao Guo, Breanna Clark, Samantha Bosco, Cody Michael Jones and more.

For more information about the 2021-2022 Series and to learn more about Ready, Set, Gold!, visit http://www.readysetgold.net.

About Ready, Set, Gold!Ready, Set, Gold! is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community health and fitness program that promotes healthy and active lifestyles to children in Southern California schools. This one-of-a-kind program launched in 2006 with the mission to promote fitness and life-long healthy habits by pairing Olympians and Paralympians with schools throughout Southern California. Ready, Set, Gold! Olympians and Paralympians work with students to educate them on the importance of the growth mindset while teaching them how to adopt healthy habits into their daily lifestyle. Ready, Set, Gold! aims to help students of all backgrounds, encouraging them to achieve their dreams and live their best life.

About Global Sports Development and Sidewinder FilmsThe Foundation for Global Sports Development, established in 1996, was born out of a desire to promote and protect the best parts of sport. Guided by its original mission, the foundation delivers and supports initiatives that promote accessible, fair, and abuse-free sport for youth. The foundation achieves this objective through grants, awards, educational projects, and filmmaking. In 2015, the foundation launched its media company, Sidewinder Films, to inspire and educate audiences through films that shed light on the remarkable, untold stories that celebrate the sport of life. Visit http://www.globalsportsdevelopment.org and http://www.sidewinderfilms.org to learn more.


Author Crystal Yang Edwards

You can donate and help bring ready, set, gold! to more students

As a 501(c)3 non-profit, Ready, Set, Gold! relies on grant funding, corporate sponsorship and private donations.  To make a tax-deductible donation to Ready, Set, Gold! please email info@lasports.org.