Hunter’s Letter to Barack Obama, 11/13/2008

[Sports Illustrated Kids featuring Hunter Lussi (May 2009)]

Hunter M. Lussi

November 13, 2008

President-Elect of the United States
The White House as of 1/20/09
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President-Elect:

You can save America $billions and $billions on healthcare costs with just your signature and spending no tax payer money.

By requiring the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport to use their existing website and registration capabilities and attaching the President’s name to the “President’s Triathlon for a Healthy America”, I am confident that I can convince 1 million people to participate as individuals or in a relay team in a 500 yard swim, 10 mile bike and 2.5 mile run/walk this Labor Day 2009 and every Labor Day after. Americans would participate in their neighborhoods or where they were on vacation and there would be no cost. The only requirement would be that they pre-registrar and report their participation afterwards.

There would be no cost to the government and tax payers and huge healthcare savings. In eight years, if each person who does the President’s Triathlon convinces just one new person each year to participate with them, there will be 256 million healthier and happier Americans.

I am sure there are many White House lawyers and advisors that will tell you a 14 year old kid can’t get 1 million people to participate in a triathlon on Labor Day. Well, I can. There are over 100,000 United States Triathlon Association [USTA] members who all read my last letter to President Bush and who could and would easily convince nine of their friends to have a cookout on Labor Day 2009 after a short swim, bike and run together.

My mom always has had a whole bunch of ladies come over for coffees and they all go for either a walk or a run or both. And I do not know why they called them coffees because they do not drink much coffee. They drink orange juice, Gatorade and water. These ladies range in age from 20 years old to over 60 years old. Until this year, Aunt Ruth at 103 was leading the exercise class at the assisted living were my Mom works.

There would be no real cost because corporations would all want to get their names and logos involved in the world’s largest triathlon and they would pay for the promotions through advertising their products. No one has to travel far accept if they consider the 500 yard swim, 10 mile bike and 2.5 mile run traveling far. I already have one of the best triathlon Race Directors, Robert Vigorito, in the country willing to volunteer to put the whole triathlon together. Mayor Adrian Fenty knows Mr. Vigorito and the Mayor has raced in many of Mr. Vigorito’s triathlons. Your Chief-of-Staff, Rahm Emanuel, could convince at least 1 million people to do a triathlon this coming Labor Day by himself. Mr. Vigorito knows Lance Armstrong well and I’m sure Mr. Armstrong would help too. Did you know Mr. Armstrong use to be a really fast triathlete when he was a teenager?

Mr. President-Elect there are no really good reasons not to try to convince 256 million Americans to train a little bit in the winter and a bit more in the spring and just a bit more through the summer so that they will become healthier and have a better attitude. Good attitudes, hard work and healthy Americans will get the economy back on track.

If those lawyers and advisors are still saying that it will not work then maybe you should tell them to go take a few of Mayor Fenty’s three speed bikes for a ride around Washington and come back and tell you they did not have fun like when they were kids. When people exercise together they have fun, release tension and their bodies become strong so they can better resist diseases.

Triathlons are really becoming popular. The whole family can do them together. They have become a lifestyle. Because triathlons are getting so popular, it is very difficult to get into one. These triathlon race’s on-line registrations fill up in a few hours. The President’s Triathlon can’t get too many people. The whole point is to get everybody. I wrote a research paper last spring in eighth grade. I got an A- because my teacher wanted me to do a paper on Vietnam but I refused.

The two most important things I learned were that kids will exercise if their parents join them exercising and everybody can be made comfortable enough to exercise. President Kennedy’s sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, convinced the Americans that had been discarded by society because of their disabilities and less than physically fit appearances that they were actually “Special”. How did she do this? She had them exercise so they got strong and healthy and felt good about themselves. She had them belong to something. An organization that was just like the most special people in the world, Olympians. Mrs. Shriver told these people that no one else wanted to be around that they were “Special Olympians”.

Everyone wants to be noticed and told they are special. U Tube and similar websites are so popular because people want recognition. Mr. and Mrs. Average American and their kids can become world record holders on Labor Day. They can be the 1 million reasons the President’s Triathlon sets the record for being the biggest triathlon in the world. And, they can get a few of their Average American friends to help them keep the world record in 2010 and beyond. Maybe you should tell your lawyers and advisors that I’m increasing the number of Americans that I know I can get to participate.

There is a downside. Since all the other countries around the world imitate and try to duplicate all things American, America and the President’s Triathlon could lose the world’s biggest title to China or India because they have more people. Arguing with China, India and Russia over who has the healthiest citizens and biggest triathlon would be a nice problem in 20 years.

Mr. President, please consider the great benefits and huge economic healthcare saving that will occur if you sign an order to create the President’s Triathlon and send this order to your fitness and sports council. Thank you for your service to America.


Hunter M. Lussi