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Kidsday: Talking with Padma and Sanya

"Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi with Kidsday reporters, from left, Gabriella Degis, Lauren Brivio and Jack Kenny at the Nickelodeon and 2K Play event Photo Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

We went to a press event for the launch of the new game Nickelodeon Fit (2K Play) for the Wii video game system in Manhattan a few weeks ago. It was a lot of fun, and we think the video game is something all kids should try because it is designed for kids. You work out with many of your favorite Nick characters, including Dora and the Backyardigans.

Besides trying out some new games and meeting Dora the Explorer, we also met a few celebrities who were attending the event.

The first person we met was Padma Lakshmi - host for the TV show "Top Chef." We asked her how she got her job as host. She said, "I had done a couple of documentaries on food, and I had another cooking show on the Food Network, and I've written two cookbooks. So the people at 'Top Chef' thought I would be a good host, and I had met with them about another show, and that's how I got the job."

We also wanted to know what was the most memorable food that she tasted on "Top Chef." Padma said, "My favorite food that I tasted is probably this wonderful dish by Ilan Hall [winner of the second season]. . . . In the last episode, he made this amazing noodle dish with very thin vermicelli noodles called fideos. They're Spanish noodles. And he baked it with clams and chorizo sausage, and it was fantastic.

We also met with Sanya Richards, who is considered the world's fastest female runner. We asked her about her top accomplishment. Sanya said, "It would be that I won two Olympic gold medals; but last season, I won my first world championship title in the 400, and that's one of my most proudest moments."

We asked for her opinion on what kids should do for daily exercise. She said, "I think that kids should try to do something every single day. So whether it's walking, biking, swimming or riding, I think it's important to do something. That's why I like the Nickelodeon Fit because even if you're by the TV, you can be moving. You can do jumping jacks. You can do all kinds of activities. It's very important to do something every day."

We were curious about her training secrets for being the world's fastest woman. Sanya told us that there are really no secrets - just hard work. She added, "I run five days a week, I lift weights four times a week, and I do Pilates. It's kind of like yoga, but you use machines, and it helps with course strength and flexibility. So I do all those things, and I make sure I get my rest and I eat well because that's important, too. Not really secrets, I just work as hard as I can."

We also asked if she is fast in everything she does. She said, "I am. I do everything fast. I try not to drive fast, but everything else I do, I do pretty fast. I work out fast, I run fast, I talk fast. Do too many things fast."

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