(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — With Team USA in the heat of Olympic competition in London, President Obama Thursday made a surprise visit to the national training facility that helped many of those athletes get there. He also hailed America’s two newest gold-medal teams.
“We have to give a special shout out to the women’s soccer team today, avenging the loss in the World Cup,” Obama said of the 2-1 USA victory over Japan in the Olympic final outside the U.S. Olympic Training Facility. “Water polo had a tremendous performance too,” he said.
Obama toured a weight room and wrestling gym at the training center, greeting aspiring young Olympians and para-Olympians who took a break from their workouts to shake hands and snap photos.
“I didn’t mean to bust up your routine, but I guess it gives you a rest,” Obama quipped as he walked among athletes standing by free-weights and dumbbells.
In the wrestling area, covered by a large blue, yellow and red mat, Obama walked along — sans shoes — to shake hands with younger athletes preparing for the Junior World Wrestling championships in Bangkok in September.
“This looks like a pretty young crew,” he said. “You know, for wrestlers you smell pretty good.”
Later, Obama crouched down on the edge of the mat to put his shoes back on, all in front of members of the White House press corps.
“I want to point out no holes in the socks,” the president joked with a grin. “My grandmother would be proud.”
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