Olympians Honored by President Biden at White House

Natalie Hinds and Allison Schmitt at the White House. Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Natalie Hinds

Nearly 600 U.S. Olympians and Paralympians were honored at the White House by President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

Katie Ledecky, Natalie Hinds, Allison Schmitt, Lilly King, Michael Andrew and several swimmers were among the group of athletes on the south lawn of the White House.

“Quick trip to my hometown to visit a beautiful House and celebrate @teamusa ❤️💙 Thanks @potus @flotus @vp @secondgentleman and all working at the @whitehouse for a special day!” Ledecky posted.

Natalie Hinds posted: “what a weekend of celebration @ the @whitehouse I will always be grateful for the year of 2021 & opportunities it has gifted me! my grandmother would be so proud♥️”

Among the swimmers in the crowd were: Annie Lazor, Zach Apple, Lydia Jacoby, Hunter Armstrong, Bella Sims, Paige Madden, Alex Walsh, Kate Douglass, Zach Harting, Katie McLaughlin, Claire Curzan, Brooke Forde, Haley Anderson, Erica Sullivan, Kieran Smith and Sophia Herzog, among others.

President Biden addressed the group of Olympians, congratulating them for their hard work, success and inspiration.

“The Bidens are a big sports family, and we love watching the Olympics.  And Jill came home from Tokyo — all she could do was talk about you all constantly.  You think I’m kidding.  I’m not,” Biden said. “And we know that, no matter the results, we wanted to honor you here at the White House.  I’m going — and I’m sorry you had to wait that year between the time it was set and the time to go.  I mean, you’ve been through so damn — darn much.  (Laughter and applause.)  You’ve been through so much.”


Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Katie Ledecky

Biden noted that athletes came from sports all across the country, from all backgrounds, including 18 U.S. Armed Forces veterans. Team USA totaled more than 260 medals won by Olympians and Paralympians.

“Thanks for letting me hold those medals, man.  It made me feel important for a second.  (Laughter.)  They are something else.  Thank you,” Biden said. “We also know the pride your families felt and how hard it was for them and for you that they couldn’t be there in person with you.

“Our favorite part of the Olympics — Jill and my family — was watching your families watch you.  I’m not joking — watching your families watch you, learning about who you are.  Because we learn about how big and diverse and talented — how great this nation is, just how diverse we are.”

Biden took time to honor the Olympians and Paralympians and their work and success.

“You inspire people.  You inspire people around the world.  You inspire them to pursue — to pursue their hopes and their dreams not just in sport but in life,” he said. “I’ve had kids come up to me and say, ‘Did you see?  Did you see?  I think I can.’  Not a joke.  You all know it.  It’s real.”

Read President Biden’s full speech to the Olympians here.

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1 month ago

Bobby Finke was there too

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