While Olympians celebrate the kickoff of the games in London, in Santa Monica children were kicking, squatting and jumping for an exercise routine at a Let's Move! Campaign Olympic Fun Day event on the Third Street Promenade.
The campaign, spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama, organized similar exercise meetups in communities all over the United States. The goal of the campaign is to end childhood obesity by encouraging children to get active.
Personal fitness trainer Dion Jackson led the exercise routine, shouting out encouragements to the crowd to join the small group of fitness instructors. He guided the group through a series of kicks, punches, jumping jacks, squats and pushups.
"These are easy exercises you can do with your kids at home, " Jackson said to the crowd. "When a commercial comes on, do an exercise. When you're shopping, take the stairs. It's up to you, parents."
Although the purpose of the event was to get the crowd to join in on the action, there were only a few passersby that did.
About 15 minutes into the demonstration, a women jumped in and joined the group, followed by another woman and her granddaughter.
"I love anything that combines music and exercise," said the second woman, Ziba Razavi. "I'm a cancer patient in remission, so anything that gets me moving makes me happy."
She grabbed the hand of her granddaughter, Ayla Rodgers, 4, and encouraged her to follow the group in a kicking exercise.
"She does ballet so she's very active," Razavi said. "This is really effective, though, I'm sweating already."
Yoselin Carrera, 8, was another brave soul to join the group. Carrera was on the promenade to shop with her mom and brother but quickly joined in on the routine in as soon as she saw the group exercising.
"I like to exercise. I do an afterschool exercise program and we do the same things, like pushups and squats and everything," Carrera said.
Let's Move! campaign members who took part in the demonstration said that while they were not surprised that many people did not join in, they were still glad to be there to spread the message about exercise.
"Exercise is a mindset and a mentality. A lot of people lose patience and interest, but you've got to find the right workout for you," said Venise Vinegar, 59. Vinegar said she exercises daily and has done so for most of her life. "You feel so much better after you do it, it clears the head, it's good therapy and you sweat out all the bad stuff."