Olympian Becomes New Wisconsin Potatoes Rep

Wisconsin native Suzy Favor Hamilton, world-class athlete and three-time participant in the Olympic Games, has been chosen to serve as spokeswoman for the state’s potatoes. According to Hamilton: “Potatoes are so nutritious that everyone -- especially distance runners -- can enjoy their benefits. They’re packed with minerals and vitamins, are gluten-free and low in calories. Their antioxidants help your body recover from exertion. Plus, potatoes can help improve your circulation and are great for replenishing your energy.” Another advantage, she adds, is their ease of preparation.

Now a realtor who lives in Madison, Wis., with her family, Hamilton travels the country as a motivational speaker, helping people adopt healthier lifestyles, battle depression or do better at their favorite sports.

“Suzy is a perfect fit to deliver the message that potatoes are nutritious and fit into an active, healthy lifestyle,” noted Duane Maatz, executive director for the Antigo-based Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA), which provides grower education, government support, environmentally sound research and consumer education for 150 grower organizations across the state. “She’s accomplished a lot in her lifetime and overcome hurdles as well. She understands the importance of eating right and she knows how to motivate people. And she’s just as busy as the rest of us -- she understands how difficult it can be to find the time to prepare a healthy meal. But this nation is in the midst of an obesity epidemic -- children and adults alike -- and fresh potatoes and vegetables are one of the keys to a healthier diet. We hope that Suzy will help inspire families to get active, eat better and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.”

Additionally, because Hamilton grew up in Stevens Point, the heart of Wisconsin’s potato production area, she can remind people to support the state’s farmers and buy locally grown produce, Maatz pointed out.

Hamilton made her first official appearance as the Wisconsin Potatoes spokeswoman at the seventh annual Walk Wisconsin (www.walkwisconsin.com) noncompetitive event held June 4, in Stevens Point. Since Walk Wisconsin’s inception in 2005, more than 10,000 participants have walked a total of more than 105,000 miles on area trails. Hamilton distributed medals at the event and spoke with participants after they crossed the finish line.

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