President Obama stood at the front of the East Room of the White House on Thursday afternoon, with the First Lady and Vice President beside him, and the athletes came to him, one by one, nearly 600 of them, to shake his hand. Some had medals around their necks. All had smiles on their faces. It was a rainy day in Washington, forcing indoors the ceremony honoring the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, but by the standards of the typical White House victory tour, this one managed to rise above.
For one thing, it was one of the last of these ceremonies Obama will host, as he prepares to leave the White House following two terms and eight years there. When the athletes presented him with a pair of team-signed surfboards — symbolizing a sport that will be added to the Olympic program beginnin...
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