President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama, delivers remarks to the 2012 United States Olympic and Paralympic Teams on the South Lawn of the White House, Sept. 14, 2012.
(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
At an event on the South Lawn, Mrs. Obama told the athletes that she was impressed not only by the 200-plus medals they brought home, but also by their dedication and hard work leading up to the games.
I want you to know how inspired we are by all of you -- your passion, your dedication, your courage. This summer, people across the country -- including some of the young people with us today -- watched you compete and thought to themselves, you know what, if they can set a goal and work hard to reach it, maybe I can too, and maybe I can go a little farther and do a little better than people think I can. They saw all of you out there giving 100 percent, overcoming all kinds of obstacles, representing our country with such determination and pride.
President Obama -- who shared that he was able to catch some of the Olympic events thanks to mastering his DVR -- told the athletes that they “could not have been better ambassadors and better representatives for the United States and what we stand for.”
And one of the great things about watching our Olympics is we are a portrait of what this country is all about -- people from every walk of life, every background, every race, every faith. It sends a message to the world about what makes America special. It speaks to the character of this group, how you guys carried yourselves. And it’s even more impressive when you think about the obstacles that many of you have had to overcome not just to succeed at the games, but to get there in the first place.