Michelle Obama jump-starts world record attempt

Yahoo! Local
News - Local D.C.

By Caroline Que, Yahoo! Local

Michelle Obama helped hundreds of schoolchildren kick off a 24-hour exercise challenge Tuesday on the south lawn of the White House.

In a bid to break the Guinness world record for the most people in multiple places doing jumping jacks in a day, Obama led the kids in one minute of exercise.

"I'm the first lady, and I get to do lots of stuff," she told the crowd. "But I never thought in my entire life that I would be here today trying to break a Guinness world record."

The current record is 20,425 people.

Obama's trainer, Cornell McClellan, was on hand to help the students limber up, although his time might have been better spent helping the first lady with her form. She inadvertently hit the student beside her during her first jumping jack.

TV personality Al Roker and figure skater Michelle Kwan served as official witnesses and timekeepers. Roker quizzed the students on topics such as the name of the president's limousine (Cadillac One) and the inventors of the hula hoop (ancient Greeks, not, as another option in the multiple-choice question might suggest, Justin Bieber).

John Cassidy, who holds multiple Guinness records for balloon sculpting, also joined in the fun, making and handing out intricate inflated art.

But the most popular celebrity of the day was the jumper in chief, who was swarmed by children as soon as the exercise challenge ended. Jean-J. Noe, 10, a student at Paul Public Charter School in Washington, emerged from the throng with a smile on his face and his hand in the air.

"She touched it!" he said. "I'm never gonna wash it."