Washington (CNN) Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles stopped by Capitol Hill on Thursday to talk about the dangers of underage drinking.
“I just want kids to realize that peer pressure, there will be a lot and it will get worse as you get older, but you can always rise above the peer pressure so you don’t feel the need to underage drink,” Biles told CNN.
Biles appeared in front of members of Congress and staffers — who were also joined by their families for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.
But why address Congress? “We need their leadership in order to keep the kids safe and alcohol-free,” Biles said. Biles, along with Responsibility.org, is promoting the “Ask, Listen, Learn” program, which works to empower children “to say ‘yes’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘no’ to underage drinking,” according to Asklistenlearn.org. “The program, the most widely distributed of its kind, provides students, their parents and educators with information about the dangers of underage drinking and tools to encourage conversations around the topic,” a press release said about ” Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix.”
“Setting goals and making the right choices were so important in my journey to becoming a World Champion,” Biles said while on Capitol Hill, according to a news release. “It’s not always easy, but I find that surrounding myself with positive role models and other people who are willing to work hard are the keys to my success. I hope that this message will help kids understand the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and making informed decisions.”
Biles said if you wait until you’re 21 to drink, “obviously you’ll have a healthier lifestyle.”
“It really does take an army to get to where you want to be and to make the choices that you’ve made along the way,” Biles said, noting the importance of kids seeing their role models making healthy choices.
The gymnast represented Team USA at the Rio Olympics during summer 2016, where she took home four gold medals. “As an athlete I’ve found the more rest I get, the better I eat, the better decisions I make, not only do I become a better athlete, but a better person overall,” Biles said.
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