First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during an event to discuss her Let's… (Matt Rourke / AP Photo )
WASHINGTON -- First Lady Michelle Obama will lead a presidential delegation to Friday’s opening ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and plans during her four-day trip to meet Queen Elizabeth, cheer on Team USA and inspire kids to get fit.
“Leading our nation’s delegation and traveling to London is truly a dream come true,” she told reporters during a conference call Monday. “If anybody had asked me when I was 10 or 11 or 20, or actually 40, whether I would be doing this, I would have bet not. Some of my fondest memories when I was young and not so young involved watching the Olympics on TV.”
Her trip begins Thursday. Scheduled highlights include a breakfast with U.S. athletes, a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by the queen, a visit with U.S. military personnel at the Royal Air Force's Mildenhall base and a meeting with Samantha Cameron, the wife of Britain’s prime minister.
The first lady will take her Let’s Move anti-obesity campaign to the U.S. ambassador’s residence Friday, where 1,000 American and British children will be put through their paces at sports stations and get a chance to meet athletes including soccer great David Beckham.
She has dubbed Saturday a Let’s Move Olympic Fun Day and is encouraging communities in the U.S. to arrange fitness events through Meetup.com.
Obama was prominent in Chicago’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2016 games, traveling with the president to Copenhagen in 2009 to make the case to the International Olympic Committee, which chose Rio de Janeiro.
The London delegation includes Olympians Dominique Dawes, Brandi Chastain, Grant Hill and Summer Sanders, and Paralympian Gabriel Diaz de Leon.
Obama opened Monday’s conference call by saying she and the president were heartbroken over the shooting rampage in Colorado and added: “Barack and I, we have seen people … come together as one American family to mourn the victims of this devastating event and to support their friends and families and loved ones.”
The trip to London is her third as first lady.