© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: President Joe Biden opens up on employment numbers at the White House in Washington on Aug. 6, 2021. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
By Nandita Bose
WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden applauded U.S. Olympic athletes on Saturday for showing courage under pressure and uniting the country one day after being invited to the White House after the Tokyo Games.
The second largest US Olympic team of all time – with 613 athletes – ranks second in the medal table of Tokyo with 108 medals, more than any other country.
“It wasn’t just your athletic ability, it was your moral courage … you remind us of what an amazing country we are and you make us look so good as a country,” said Biden in a video call with athletes and their family members on Saturday.
Biden also praised individual athletes like the American gymnast Simone Biles, who withdrew from events such as the individual all-around and the team all-round citing mental health problems, but returned to win the bronze medal in the beam.
“You showed everything who we are as humans,” said Biden, praising her for setting an example and not giving up.
He also praised Isaiah Jewett, who was in the best position to finish in the top two in his 800m run but was accidentally tripped by Nijel Amos of Botswana. In a show of athleticism, Jewett helped Amos to his feet and the two finished the race.
First Lady Jill Biden, who had traveled to Tokyo to represent the United States and support US competitors, said America needs healing and the event was a great pleasure.
“All the athletes in the Games brought Americans together and brought us joy again, and thank you for that,” she said.
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