Don't Drink Underage: Apolo Ohno to Students

By Mariel Smith
|  Friday, Mar 5, 2010  |  Updated 1:52 PM EDT
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Don't Drink Underage: Apolo Ohno to Students

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Bronze medalist Apolo Anton Ohno of the United States holds up eight fingers to signify his tally of Olympic medals after the Men's 5000m Relay Short Track Speed Skating Final on day 15 of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at Pacific Coliseum on February 26, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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Having just speed skated to victory at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Apolo Anton Ohno is on a new mission to stop junior high school students from underage drinking.

Teaming up with Century Council's program, "Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix," the eight-time Olympic medalist will visit five U.S. middle schools, including six graders at Manhattan's Robert Wagner Middle School.

In conjunction with his newly-established Apolo Anton Ohno Foundation, Ohno, 27, will partake in "Ask, Listen, Learn's" interactive and educational games with the students, followed by a "Q and A" session.

According to a federal government study: "Talking to Your Child About Alcohol," 54 percent of teens admitted to trying alcohol before entering the eighth grade.

Ohno, who recently became the most decorated American Winter Olympian in history for his short-track speed skating, wants kids to avoid the same peer pressure he dealt with as a young teen.

The season four "Dancing With the Stars" champion said he maintains his Olympian physique by watching what he puts it into his body, including alcohol.

"I can have an awesome time with my friends without alcohol," Ohno told the Ask, Listen, Learn website. "Some people feel they need it to loosen up, but in reality, you just need time to be comfortable in your own skin."

The Century Council alongside psychologists and educators set up the "Ask, Listen, Learn" program to advise middle school students and parents on the hazards of underage drinking.

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