Ready, Set, Gold! Olympian of the Year: The Nominees


Part of Ready, Set, Gold’s mission is to inspire, motivate and educate students about health and fitness as lifelong goals. It’s important for students to have role models no matter where they are in life. Ready, Set, Gold! Is proud to partner with U.S. Olympians and Paralympians to deliver our message of “Olympians and Paralympians inspiring the next generation through sport, fitness and excellence with a focus on growth mindset.


Every year, U.S. Olympians and Paralympians join students in schools across the Southland to lead community health and fitness programs through Ready, Set, Gold! to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. These Olympians and Paralympians pour their heart and soul into motivating and inspiring their students to think big and not be afraid of having Olympic-sized dreams.


That said, in recognition for their contributions to RSG!, the following five individuals have been nominated for this year’s RSG! #OlympianOfTheYear .This award showcases those who have committed their time to RSG! and helped make RSG! what it is today in addition to their work with our students. Read the nominees’ bios to learn what each of them has accomplished, how they inspire students, and how long they’ve been a part of the RSG! family.

RSG! Olympian of the Year: John Naber: John Naber is one of America’s most successful Olympic champions. In the 1976 Games, John earned four gold medals in swimming. He became the first swimmer in history to earn two individual medals on the same day of the Olympic competition. Recently, John was elected to join the USOPC Board as one of two USOPA representatives. John has participated not only as a RSG! athlete since the beginning in 2006 but has also served as the Chairman of RSG! since 2016.

Nominees for RSG! Olympian/Paralympian of the Year:

Giddeon Massie

Giddeon is an Olympic cyclist and RSG! athlete mentor for our in-person and virtual programs. Giddeon also serves as a member of the RSG! Leadership Committee and has given countless hours to the strategic development of the RSG! program.


Rudy Garcia-Tolson

Rudy, born and raised right here in Bloomington, CA. is a decorated Paralympic Swimmer. He has been to the Paralympics four times and won five medals, four in swimming and one in track and field, all by the age of 27. After competing in four Paralympics, he was ready to call it a career until he realized that an extra year of training could enable his comeback. In late March of 2020, as the coronavirus spread across the globe, the International Olympic Committee postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics for a year. Rudy got the itch to train and compete again. This is a true testament to the RSG! program.


As a result, Rudy set goals for himself throughout his life. When his current situation in New York City and get a “real job” was coming to a close, Rudy didn’t want to miss this opportunity. This year Rudy, took part in the RSG! Virtual Series, where he shared how goal-setting got him to where he is today and how he’s inspiring students to do the same.


John Moffet

John’s commitment to the RSG! program and his willingness to invite students around the county into his home for our first-ever cooking episode are phenomenal. You can cook with John in our Fall and Spring Virtual Series. John has given back to the program over the years in his participation with Emerson Middle School as an athlete mentor, inspiring students to be their best and accomplish their goals. He has also sits on the LASC BOD and the RSG! Leadership Committee and has given countless hours to the strategic development of the RSG! Program.


Kristy Kowal

Olympic silver medalist Kristy’s energy gets kids and teachers moving! Kristy joined the RSG! program in 2019. She quickly became part of our community and has given back in more ways than one. As a teacher herself, she understands what our students need and how to reach them. Kristy is an integral part of the RSG! Program, and we are proud to have her as part of our in-person program as well as our virtual series.


With an impressive roster of accomplishments by these nominees, we’d like to ask you: Which of these deserving Olympians & Paralympians do you think will be named this year’s Olympian of the Year? Leave a comment below with your pick and why you chose your pick.


Also, are you ready to champion the RSG! cause like an Olympian? Support Ready, Set, Gold! through the #LASportsAwards online silent auction!