(WMC-TV) - Two Mid-South Olympic medalists spent their morning motivating students in DeSoto County to get in shape.
Studies suggest that Mississippi is the fattest state in the nation, but folks from DeSoto County schools are trying to right the ship by giving students the training and equipment they need.
It is not every day that an Olympic medalist gives fitness advice to hundreds of middle school students.
But on Wednesday, students in Hernando got two.
"That dream started in me when I was 12 years old," Memphis gold medalist Rochelle Stevens told the crowd.
Stevens was joined by silver medalist Trell Kimmons from Coldwater, Mississippi.
The two told kids to put down the potato chips, video games and get busy outside.
"For me to come back to talk to the community is an honor because I was that kid," Kimmons said.
Kimmons and Stevens watched as kids tested out new training equipment to help get in shape and stay that way.
It is a part of a $25,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi for Project Fit America, but a winning attitude is not included. That's why the two track stars flashed their hardware as motivation.
"It's like, kind of like they cut off all their other stuff to come out here and visit us and that really meant a lot to me," said student Trinity Williams.
"It was really cool, I want to play track when I get older," said student Brannon Davis.
Students will compete against their own personal bests in several fitness categories and can track progress with results they hope to be able to see.
"I'm trying to form a six pack here," Williams said.
Stevens said she enjoys being able to influence young people.
"A lot of times you just need someone there in person to say 'Hey, if she did it, maybe I can do it too,'" Stevens said.
Hernando Middle School is the 13th school in the district to receive the grant.