First Lady Michelle Obama visits athletes, says Olympics inspired her family

First Lady Michelle Obama with members of the USA Basketball women's national team.

Just hours before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, Team USA got a very special, all-American visitor: First Lady Michelle Obama.

Obama arrived in London as head of the Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. About 60 U.S. athletes were able to meet her personally this morning during her breakfast-time appearance at the University of East London.  

The first lady’s trip to London is part of her ongoing campaign to encourage America’s youth to take part in regular exercise. She told the athletes she is in awe of their abilities and commitment and described the experience of attending her first Olympic Games as “other-worldly.”

“I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it is to be leading the delegation ahead of the ceremonies for the 2012 Olympic games,” the first lady told the athletes. “Some of my fondest memories growing up, and even as an adult, involve watching the Olympics on TV.”

 The First Lady told Team USA that she was inspired as a child by the incredible abilities of Olympic athletes, and that she and her brother one day dreamed of achieving something great as well. The first lady also shared a personal story about her father’s MS diagnosis and how the Olympics became an incredibly important time for her family.

“My father wasn’t able to walk without the assistance of crutches,” she said. “He retained his love of sports and the Olympics was a special time for him to watch amazing athletes of all abilities compete on the world stage. These games especially affected our little house on the south side of Chicago.”

She finished her remarks with a bit of advice to athletes: “Try to have fun, try to breath a little bit… but also win. In the end, winning is good.”

The first lady spent 30 minutes mingling with members of Team USA, often hugging them, and posing for photos.   

“It made me feel really proud to be an American. To have her here supporting us means a lot,” said fencer Tim Morehouse, who did acknowledge that it was an early morning for the day of the opening ceremony.

“We’ve got our naps planned,” he added.

“I was just so excited to meet her and be able to take pictures with her, and she actually hugged us,” women’s table tennis player Ariel Hsing, 16, told Metro. “I just thought that was incredible.”

Now, athletes will return their attention to tonight’s long-awaited opening ceremony. An air of anticipation seemed to follow Team USA this morning.   

“I’m marching this time,” Olympic hurdler and gold medalist Angelo Taylor told Metro. This is his third Olympic experience, but tonight will be his first time participating in the opening ceremony.

“I’m excited, I’m looking forward to the show. I’m looking to see what’s different this year,” Taylor said.

1994 Olympic gold medalist and basketball great Grant Hill, who is accompanying the first lady as part of the Presidential Delegation, offered his own words of wisdom to young athletes who may be feeling the pressure as the games begin.

“Relax, have fun. If you’re not prepared by now, you’re not going to be prepared,” Grant said. “So just go out and do what you do best. There’s a reason why you’re here.”

(Photo by Errol Anderson)



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.