U.S. Olympic Hopeful, National Champion Track Star Leah O’Connor Signs on to Promote Milk as Healthy Part of Athletic Diet

Michigan State University track sensation Leah O’Connor has joined the Milk Means More campaign to shine a light on milk as part of a healthy athletic diet. As part of her work with the United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM), O’Connor will promote milk to athletes via special appearances and social media.

UDIM is taking a leading role in promoting the benefits of dairy products to provide the optimum nutrition for growth, bone density, and overall good health. Along with O’Connor, UDIM is working to raise awareness specifically for milk’s protein-carbohydrate-fat balance, which is ideal for building strong athletes.


“The emphasis on ‘real’ food as a critical component to a healthy lifestyle is particularly important for athletes, especially young athletes who are still growing,” said Sharon Toth, who is a registered dietitian and chief executive officer of UDIM. “Partnering with Leah is a way that we can inspire people to think about the importance of nutrition in meeting their athletic goals.”


O’Connor, a Croswell, Mich. native, is a U.S. Olympic hopeful. She joins U.S. Olympian Allison Schmitt as a Milk Means More ambassador.


O’Connor’s impressive resume includes running a 4:27.18 mile, earning her the Michigan State University and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) records. In her career to date, she’s won 10 Big Ten titles and two NCAA Championships. O’Connor is currently the reigning National Champion in both the indoor mile and the outdoor steeplechase.


“As an endurance athlete, having a base of strength and a focus on nutrition is so important to my ability to train consistently and effectively,” O’Connor said. “Milk provides exactly what I need to set myself up for success every time I run. I grew up with milk at every meal and I know its importance in developing strong bones.  This is especially important to teen girls, who may skip milk to cut calories. I’m thrilled to promote its health benefits to other athletes.”

Milk Life, a national dairy organization, is a proud sponsor of Team USA.

About United Dairy Industry of Michigan
The United Dairy Industry of Michigan is the umbrella organization for the Dairy Council of Michigan and the American Dairy Association of Michigan. On behalf of Michigan’s dairy farm families, these non-profit organizations provide science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier society, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media. For more information, visit


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