Washington, Sep 30 : US President Barack Obama paid tribute to the Olympic and Paralympic athletes who competed at the Rio Games and “inspired” them to meet any challenge.
The athletes had a warm welcome at a White House ceremony, Obama assured them that their efforts inspire others to “be the best at what they do”, reports Efe on Thursday. 18 African American athletes were also invited who participated in the 1936 Games in Berlin but who received no recognition at the time with their white colleagues because of racial segregation.
“There’s no kid in America who can’t look at our Olympic team and see themselves somewhere. That’s part of the reason why we’re successful — because we gather talent from every corner of the globe,” said Obama.
“And through the years of people arriving — whether it’s in Ellis Island or Angel Island or coming over the Rio Grande; some cases, coming not of their own accord — we’ve become something more than just the sum of our parts. We’ve become Americans together.”
“There is ‘something special’ in having ‘all races, all faiths, all traditions, all orientations, all marching together under that same proud flag’, not united by a creed or a color, but by our devotion to an enduring set of ideals,” he added.