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President Obama rings Phelps, women's gymnastics team

  • Author: Jill Langlois
  • Updated: September 29, 2016
  • Published August 1, 2012

President Barack Obama called Michael Phelps and the US women's gymnastics team to congratulate them on their Olympic medals.

While on the campaign trail in Ohio, Obama spoke with all the five gold medal-winning gymnasts, according to UPI. White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that the president gave each athlete a personal message, and talked to Aly Reisman, Jordyn Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Gabby Douglas, in that order.

Carney said the president told Reisman, "Michelle and I have watched and decided of all the Olympians you guys amaze us the most."

"I'm so impressed by how you bounced back and led the team," Obama said to Wieber. "Tell your parents I'm proud of them too. I don't think I could watch if I were them."

When he talked to Maroney, the president said: "Way to nail that vault. It was unbelievable."

Obama told Ross she was "really steady," adding, "I was impressed by how cool you were. I don't know how you do what you do, especially the balance beam."

To Douglas, the president said: "You just tore it up. I know how hard you worked to get there," adding, "Keep at it. Stay cool."

Obama, a rabid sports fan, also reached out to Michael Phelps to congratulate him after he set the all-time record for Olympic medals with 19, reported The Washington Post. The president first sent the swimmer a message from his official Twitter account, saying: "Congrats to Michael Phelps for breaking the all-time Olympic medal. You've made your country proud. –bo."

Phelps then tweeted back: "Thank you Mr. President!! It's an honor representing the #USA !! The best country in the world!!"

The Post also reported that Obama later phoned Phelps, saying he was, "the greatest Olympian ever! We couldn't be prouder."

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