Olympic Gold Medalist LaShawn Merritt visits Suffolk school

13News Now Philip Townsend has the story

SUFFOLK, Va. (WVEC)---Hundreds of local students got to exercise with Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt Thursday.

The American sprinter visited Booker T. Washington Elementary in Suffolk for the two-week Fit For Life Program, sponsored by SUBWAY restaurants.

"I don't do what I do just for me," said Merritt. "It's all about inspiring."

As part of the program, Merritt talked about the importance of incorporating healthy eating and exercise into your life.

"It means a lot when you hear it from LaShawn Merritt," said Assistant Principal Roberta Brand.

But after his presentation in the auditorium Merritt stuck around, going door to door to visit every classroom in the school.

It's familiar territory for the superstar.

Before his days in the Rio Olympics, the now 30-year-old was just a normal kid growing up in Portsmouth. He says he graduated from Wilson High School with dreams of making it to the Olympics.

"I'm where you're from," said Merritt. "If you don't know anyone else who has been on TV or all around the world here I am right now. And they can do it too."


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