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President Biden and Jill Biden walked out to the Olympic Theme at 11:40 am to the cheers from Team USA members, six hundred American Olympians and Paralympians from the Summer Games in Tokyo and the Winter Games in Beijing. FLOTUS was wearing Team USA white jacket over a red dress.
The event started with a rousing national anthem. Jill Biden said the band has been playing since 8:30 am.
Members of Team USA, athletes from summer and Winter Olympics and Paralympics could be seen dressed in their white jackets standing on the South Lawn under three banners.
President Biden gave inspirational talk, with underlying political themes. “We’ve been a very divided nation philosophically of late, but you brought us together. For no matter the divisions, when we see you compete, we feel a common pride in those three letters: U-S-A. I mean that. There’s a common pride. It crosses all political spectrums.”
He displayed some Olympic envy, and referenced his own high school and college sports past.
“I had all those Walter Mitty dreams,” he revealed. “And they weren’t about being President; they were about being a great athlete. I thought I was, you know, in high school and college. “
Of Jill Biden, he told athletes: “All she could do was talk about you all. Constantly.”
He referenced the COVID delay. “I’m sorry you had to wait that year.”
He got a laugh and cheers when he said: “You’ve been through so damn – darn much.”
“Look how you handle victory and defeat,” he said admiringly. “There’s no quit in America. There’s just no quit. And you’re the quintessential example of that.”Then he got what his presenter called pretty awesome swag.
“Don’t jump!” he joked during the swag photo, adding: “She’s our photographer.”
There were breakfast items in the Rose Garden – granola and healthy items. Military jazz combo played Art Blakey, Billy Joel.