Press Release


New Orleans (June 13, 1999) – Some three dozen Mayors and their staff members from all over the United States joined an equal number of youngsters from New Orleans early Saturday morning for a 1.5 mile run/walk through the city’s downtown.

Led by Mayors Marc Morial of New Orleans and Deedee Corradini of Salt Lake City, the event came during the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, over which Ms. Corradini presides. It was the latest in a series of events she has conducted during her USCM presidency to encourage American schoolchildren to get back into good physical condition.

Shortly after taking office last June, Mayor Corradini launched two national youth fitness initiatives, the Mayors’ OlympiKids for Fitness Program, and the Mayors’ Sports Challenge, in partnership with the United States Olympic Committee and the Nike Company, respectively. Over the last 12 months the programs have been launched in elementary and junior high schools from coast to coast. Mayor Corradini personally helped launch the programs in New York, Atlanta, Oakland, Washington, Long Beach and New Orleans, as well as her own city of Salt Lake.

Today, during a plenary session of the USCM, she urged the Conference to maintain the emphasis on youth fitness in the year ahead. And she noted the continued need for the programs by referring to the event the day before: The kids began the race with great enthusiasm, she said, running as if they had been shot out of a cannon. Within 200 yards, however, most of them were "pooped out," forced to walk the rest of the way.