On the season finale, the kids show off their progress to the friends, family, fans, and the governor of Florida.
Nine months ago, Shaquille O’Neal
started climbing an uphill battle with six South Florida children. He and his team worked hard to get them in shape, change the school lunch menu, mandate physical education, and show what progress he made to the governor. Thousands turn out to see the end result including family, friends, classmates, and teachers.
Up first is Chris, who began the program at 206 pounds. He struggled with overeating, mainly stemming from his unhealthy Cuban diet. At his big reveal, it is shocking to see him! He has lost 77 pounds and looks amazing. After Chris, comes Ariel, who once weighed in at 211 pounds. She was an emotional eater, as she dealt with her parents’ difficult divorce. She has lost 40 pounds and says she has learned to love herself.
Kevin is introduced next, who started at 230 pounds. He was made fun of for his size and wanted to change his life. Kevin has lost 52 pounds. The progress continues with James, a junk food junkie, who once weighed 182 pounds. On Shaq’s program, James has dropped 25 pounds. The entire crowd chanted, “James, eat your vegetables!” As you may remember, once upon a time, James had never even had a baby carrot.
Up next is Kit, who weighed 263 pounds at the start of the program. Half her weight was fat and she felt like an outsider in her school. She was too nervous and too afraid to be involved in anything. The new Kit weighs 27 pounds less with a new outlook on life. Last, but not least, is Walter, who topped the scale at 285 pounds just nine months ago. He was a quiet video game addict with no intensions of exercising. Not this Walter. This Walter has lost 64 pounds and is more active than ever!
There’s tons of pressure on the kids as they have to complete the President’s Fitness Test in front of a crowd of thousands. First on the list to complete is sit-ups. All the kids beat the national average for sit-ups as well as push-ups. They must now show off how far they’ve come by completing the mile run. It is success after success as each shaves minutes off their first time nine months ago and some beat the national average. Left to finish the mile is Kit, who stands in the middle of the track, without moving forward. Carlon “Doc” Colker, Shaq’s health specialist, supports and together, with thousands cheering her on, inspire her to complete the race.
Before Shaq can meet with the governor, he must first see Dr. Munos to get the kids’ final medical results. The news is all good as each kid show significant improvements in their health. He also meets with community leaders from various organizations such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club to get physical education offered as part of their program. He sees Tyler Florence, who has found a way to create an affordable, healthy menu. Finally, he learns that the Shaquille O'Neal Wellness Wheel is a success in the school. Time to take on the governor!
The kids travel on a private jet to meet the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist. Each of Shaq’s team members, as well as administration members, make compelling arguments in favor of change. The kids stand up for themselves and for others like them to Governor Crist. The governor addresses a crowd outside and looks to mandate physical education as well as put Shaq’s Wheel of Wellness in Florida schools. The kids have accomplished their goal and started a wave of change that will reach well beyond Florida.
Join Shaq's Family Challenge at shaq.abc.com.
- Gina Scarpa, Buddy TV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)