Fitness Industry Roundup: Going for the Gold

Sunisa Lee has become a household name after winning all-around gold, fitness resorts are gaining popularity, and more.

After a mentally draining and lengthy year and a half living with COVID-19, more people are jumping on the health and fitness train. This week’s roundup focuses on fitness resorts receiving a spike in reservations, and one U.S. Governor highlights and awards the critical work of a local gym owner. Plus, we include a much-deserved feature piece on Hmong American Olympic gymnast Sunisa Lee.

First, how many people in the health and fitness industry could you name off the top of your head that made a difference in the industry while persevering through the pandemic? Now is your chance to acknowledge their dedication to keeping people healthy and growing the industry.

Nominate a Fitness Industry “Person of the Year”

New this year, John Mickelson’s Soapbox, an online blog featuring fitness industry leaders, encourages readers to nominate industry professionals for its “Soapbox Person of the Year Award.” Mickelson, brand manager for PETRA-1 and an IHRSA member, is looking for leaders who have made significant contributions to the industry. Specifically, “to highlight the person whom our Soapbox readers think has had the most positive effect/impact on the activities that happened in the years 2020-2021.” Considering COVID’s significant impact on the health and fitness industry, this award aims to acknowledge those who have contributed to saving the industry and assisting with the return to normal. For nominations, please email a brief summary, their contact information, and why they should be considered for the award to John Mickelson at

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Submit nominations for Soapbox Person of the Year.

Sunisa Lee Soars Above the Rest to Win All-around Gold

In a heartwarming feature,The New York Times profiles Sunisa Lee, an 18-year-old Hmong American gymnast. Through pure passion and determination, Lee won all-around gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Lee’s win comes in her first-ever Olympics, competing on the international stage after tragic losses, injury, and, of course, a pandemic. The Hmong community has greatly celebrated her win, as this marks the first time a Hmong American competed in the Olympics—let alone won a gold medal. Lee’s father, John Lee, said, “For my kid, a Hmong girl, to be on the world stage, winning a gold medal, it’s just the best feeling ever.”

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Source: AP / Gregory Bull

Read the full story.

Fitness Resorts Assist With Shedding COVID Weight & Living Healthy

After almost a year and a half of living with COVID-19,CNN reports that travelers have flocked to fitness resorts to shed the pounds gained from lockdowns and, ultimately, reset. “It was a wake-up call for so many people," said Elaine Hartrick, general manager of Movara, a fitness resort in Ivins, UT. “People recognized obesity as a risk factor for complications from COVID, and they wanted to change their lifestyle so they wouldn't become another statistic.” Movara and other resorts worldwide have been booking so quickly that many have two-month waiting lists—some have even considered opening more locations. Although fitness resorts come with a hefty price tag, many believe they’re worth it. "When I went into Structure House my goal was, 'I want to get back to 175.' Now my goal is, 'I want to be healthy,'" said Jacob Norry, a graduate student from Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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Source: Fit Farm at Rock Springs Retreat Center

Read more.

Michigan Senator Awards Gym Owner as Small Business of the Month

Lake Side Fit of Bridgman, MI, Owner Lacey Lucas was awarded by Michigan Senator Kim LaSata as the Michigan Small Business of the Month for her “incredible dedication to both a healthy lifestyle and helping people in her community.” During the pandemic, Lucas made YouTube videos and offered beachside exercise classes to keep the community exercising. “I want to congratulate her as a recipient and for her continued success,” said LaSata. “I’d like the community to join me in wishing her the best as her business continues to grow.” Lake Side Fit provides yoga, fitness classes, 24-hour gym access, massage and wellness therapy, and more.

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Source: Lake Side Fit

Learn more about Lake Side Fit.

Has your health or fitness-related business been featured in the news recently? We want to know! Send a link to any news article or video that highlighted your business to, and we may include it in a future issue of the Fitness Industry Roundup.

Author avatar

Sami Smith

Sami Smith is IHRSA's Senior Manager of Digital Communications, working to shape the organization's image on various digital platforms. On a typical day, she creates content, delivers impactful communications, and executes targeted marketing efforts to keep IHRSA at the forefront of the industry. Outside of the office, you can find her exploring new destinations, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.