They shared some inspiring messages for Team USA Olympic athletes.
The Olympics may be the pinnacle of athletic achievement, and thus their own reward, but come on — everyone wants to be cheered on. And the bigger the shoutout, the better. It doesn’t really get bigger than a shout out from a president or first lady, which is why these tweets of encouragement to Olympic athletes from Barack and Michelle Obama are so powerful. And hey, it doesn’t hurt that they’re also inspirational AF, right? Who wouldn’t be more amped to go for gold after reading these?
After a year of uncertainty and delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 (OK, technically they’re still the 2020) Olympic Games are finally underway in Tokyo, with the opening ceremony on Friday, July 23. But ahead of the official launch of the Games, the former POTUS and FLOTUS took a few moments to share some words of encouragement and inspiration for all the athletes who had trained, strained, and patiently waited for their shot at gold.
“I know how hard all of the athletes on Team USA have worked,” Michelle wrote just ahead of the primetime airing of the opening ceremony, which had taken place earlier that day. “I’m so proud of each and every competitor who has worked so hard for this moment. We’re rooting for you!”
“[Athletes’] determination and hard work got them this far, and they’re ready to seize this moment,” Barack added. “We’ll be rooting for them all the way.”
The Olympics were delayed for a full year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and up until the very last minute there was really no guarantee they’d happen at all. Authorities warned that there was still the possibility of canceling the Games, particularly as multiple athletes and support team members tested positive for COVID-19 in the days leading up to the Olympics. Even as the Games move forward, they are deeply controversial due to the risk of COVID-19 infection. Many in Japan have opposed moving forward with the international competition. Per USA Today, protests were even heard outside the stadium during the opening ceremony.
The delay made it that much harder for the athletes who had to keep themselves in peak mental and physical condition to compete, as well as live with the uncertainty of whether they would even get the chance to do so. Thankfully, the Obamas are sharing the emotional support that all athletes need in order to bring their best effort to competition. With cheerleaders like this, it’s gotta be impossible to lose, right?