Former ‘Biggest Loser’ contestant exercises with SF Elementary students

Published May 6, 2013 at 10:44 am (Updated May 6, 2013 at 10:44 am)

A little encouragement paid off in a big way for students at South Fayette Elementary School. Instead of teachers encouraging students, this time it was the fourth-grade class at the school sending letters of encouragement to Michael Dorsey, a recent contestant on “The Biggest Loser” reality television show.

Dorsey was so touched by the letters from the students that he wanted to thank them in person, so on May 3, all of the fourth-graders at South Fayette had the chance to meet and exercise with Dorsey.

Students in Sarah Oddis’s fourth-grade class started writing letters to Dorsey while he was on the show. “I had known him from college,” Oddis said, adding that Dorsey was a professor at Cedarville University when she was there. “We wrote letters of encouragement,” she said of her class.

“It really worked out awesome,” Oddis said of Dorsey’s visit. Students in her class also made posters welcoming Dorsey to the school.

Fourth-grader Aliya Schraeder said she was “really excited” to see Dorsey. “I wanted to see his change – before and after (he lost weight),” she said.

“I’ve never met a famous person in my life,” said Kendall Yeaman, a fourth-grader. “I think he’s a really good guy.”

“It was awesome to watch him on the show,” said fourth-grader Ray Urska. “He was very athletic.”

Dorsey, a motivational speaker and teacher, who lives in Baltimore, Maryland, has lost more than 130 pounds as a result of the show. Dorsey explained to the fourth-graders that it was because of an injury when he was younger that he stopped playing sports and “slowly, surely started really becoming ‘Big Mike.’”

“I didn’t take care of myself,” Dorsey said. He said he soon found he was too big to go on roller coasters at amusement parks, which is something he’s loved to do since he was a kid.

Dorsey said once, he was at Hershey Park and tried to go on the Lightning Racer there, and the safety bar wouldn’t lock. He said the workers at the park kept saying, “All we need is one more click,” for the bar to be secured.

Dorsey said he remembers standing up from the ride and realizing “I was one click away from getting what I wanted.” He said he felt like “I could never reach that one click.”

But, after losing weight, he decided he would try to go on a roller coaster again.

“Thanks to you all encouraging me, I heard my click,” he told the students. “I realized I was important. Each and every one of you are important.”

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