President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden spoke with Team USA on a Zoom call on Saturday night, just hours before the Tokyo Olympics are set to close.
The Bidens praised the Olympians for competing in the Games and doing so during the COVID-19 pandemic, something that he said made Americans’ “hearts swell.”
“You handled yourself with such grace and such decency,” Biden told Team USA, . “You made me so damn proud.”
Biden praises Simone Biles for mental health decision
Biden talked to gymnastics star Simone Biles directly on the call, too, and praised her for stepping back from multiple events in Tokyo to focus on her mental health.
in Tokyo after a single rotation, citing a lack of “air awareness” or “the twisties” after an awkward landing. She then withdrew from the all-around, vault, floor and uneven bars.
The 24-year-old returned for the .
“You had the courage to say, ‘I need some help,’” Biden told her, . “And you gave an example to everybody. And guess what, by the way, you got back up on that damned beam.”
Biden impressed with Jewett’s sportsmanship
Biden also talked to sprinter Isaiah Jewett, who was part of earlier this month.
Jewett was in third in a qualifying heat of the men’s 800-meter semifinal when he and Botswana’s Nigel Amos collapsed to the ground after colliding. The two stayed down as the rest of the field pushed forward and finished the race.
Eventually, Jewett stood up and helped Amos up. The two then .
“America when it leads the world leads not by the example of our power but by the power of our example,” Biden said, . “That’s the God’s truth. And you are an epitome of that, and we thank you for it.”
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