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Obama 'could not be prouder' of Olympians, visits training facility

August 09, 2012|By Kathleen Hennessey
  • President Obama takes a group photo with athletes and trainers during his visit to the U.S. Olympic Training center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
President Obama takes a group photo with athletes and trainers during his… (Pablo Martinez Monsivais…)

COLORADO SPRINGS -- President Obama on Thursday capped off two weeks of long-distance cheerleading with a visit to the U.S. Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs.

On the unannounced stop, made on his way to the airport from a campaign rally, the president visited with Michael Prout, a Paralympic swimmer who won gold in Athens in 2004. He took a group photo with the athletes and announced he “could not be prouder” of their hard work.  

Mitt Romney may be the candidate in the presidential race who “delivered the Olympics safe and secure,” as campaign ads boast, but Obama has been set on proving he’s the Games' biggest fan.

Since the opening ceremonies two weeks ago, nary a public event has passed without the president making an Olympics-related remark.

He’s joked about the athleticism, given women’s soccer updates from the stump, telephoned the gold medal winners and even worked in a campaign attack with an Olympic pun. On how he said the Romney campaign was “twisting and turning” to explain its tax plan:

“Let's just say there was a whole different kind of gymnastics.”

On Thursday, as he toured the training center, he singled out the women’s soccer team, which moments earlier had won gold.

“We have to give a special shout out to the women’s soccer team today avenging the loss in the World Cup,” Obama said, as the soccer medal ceremony aired on the television around the facility.

The president took his shoes off to visit with the wrestlers, then returned afterward to lace them back up in front of reporters. As he sat on the floor in front of the reporters, one remarked he looked “very presidential.” 

“Thanks, No holes in my socks,” the president joked. “My grandmother would be proud.”

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kathleen.hennessey@latimes.com

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