Obama hails US athletes at Olympics
US President Barack Obama on Saturday congratulated all of the American athletes competing in the Olympics and Paralympics this year, saying they inspired Americans with their hard work, determination and indomitable spirit.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama thanked the athletes for reminding Americans that they were one people and that they could achieve great things.
"These games remind us that for all our differences, we're Americans first," the president said. "And we could not be prouder of the men and women representing our country in London, in both the Olympics and in the Paralympics."
Obama noted that some of the US athletes had worked long shifts at multiple jobs to feed their Olympic dream.
Less than four years ago, the president recalled, runner Bryshon Nellum was shot three times in his legs, but this week, he will run the 400-meter race.
Lopez Lomong fled war and persecution in Sudan as a boy, but today he is an American track-and-field athlete representing the United States at the Olympics for the second time.
Obama noted that it was not the medal count alone that inspired Americans.
"It's the character of the men and women who compete for those medals," the president said. "It's their dogged perseverance and unyielding determination, through disappointment and triumph alike."
Obama said that Americans were one people with common values and ideals.
"We celebrate individual excellence, but recognize that only together can we accomplish great and important things we cannot accomplish alone," the president pointed out.