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Tim Morehouse celebratesTim Morehouse is a two-time Olympic fencer who won the silver medal in team sabre at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

A Truly Special Closing Ceremony for Team USA 2012

September 17, 2012


 

Morehouse and President ObamaWhile the Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Games is special, nothing beats coming back to the USA and going to the White House to meet the President! 

The visit is special in a number of ways, first it is also the only time the entire TEAM USA Olympic and Paralympic teams are together and to be able to talk with the Paralympians who are just returning back from London was really great.   A number of them are wounded warriors who have turned their injuries into inspiration by becoming Paralympians and representing all that is great about our nation on a new stage.  Couldn’t be prouder to stand beside them. 

Second, and this is bitter sweet one, but the White House visit represents the last time all of the London 2012 Olympians will be assembled together.  It has been a month since we were all together at Closing Ceremony in London and you can tell that everyone is already shifting gears to prepare for the upcoming season or to retirement mode and figuring out their next adventures.    

On to the visit!

We boarded buses around 7am and headed to the White House.   We got some very cool Nike Team USA “Letterman” jackets to wear for the visit.  We arrived at the White House and went through security and then assembled on rafters set up on the front lawn.  President Obama, the First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden soon came out and shook hands with a few folks as they headed to the podium.   The first lady spoke and thanked us and so did President Obama.  It means a lot that they took the time to thank us and they genuinely seemed like HUGE fans of the Games.   Following President Obama’s remarks, he was presented with the flag we used at Opening and Closing Ceremony by Mariel Zagunis, our flag bearer for Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Games, and Brad Snyder, our flag bearer for Closing Ceremony at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Morehouse and Mrs. ObamaThen things got really special, when the President announced that despite his busy schedule he would stay and shake everyone’s hand!!!  That’s 400+ athletes and let me tell you that is no easy task!  For the next hour, President Obama, the First Lady and VP Biden shook hands, gave hugs and congratulations.   How often do you get a hug from the First Lady of the United States?!?!

I feel very proud that I get to represent the U.S. at the Olympics and getting the chance to go to the White House and spend one last moment basking in the Olympic gleam of London with our President is something I will never forget.  Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Obama and also to the U.S. Olympic Committee staff for setting this all up!

Onwards to Rio? :-)

 

Olympians Invade Capitol Hill to Support the Olympic Movement!

September 13, 2012

 Morehouse and Pelosi
Meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

Being an Olympian is about much more than competing. Part of our role is to be an ambassador for our sports, especially in the smaller ones, and advocates for the Olympic movement. People paved the way for us to have our Olympic opportunity and it is up to us to make sure that future Olympic dreamers have the same -- if not more -- support than we had to pursue our dreams.

That role of advocate and ambassador took a few of us to Capitol Hill today, where along with USOC staff members we met with Senators and Representatives including Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Representative Peter King (R-NY), Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Representative Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. 


It is amazing how universally loved the Olympic movement is across both parties. We were greeted warmly by everyone and it is fun to see that even our politicians get excited to see Olympic medals and to meet us. We each told our stories, many of which included stories of struggle and perseverance and stressed to the legislators that their support makes a difference.


Speaking of support, here is our official  “THANK YOU, AMERICA” Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huEV3bUIgoE with a cameo by yours truly!  So excited for President Obama tomorrow!

 

 

 

Feeling Grateful to America and Excited for the White House

September 12, 2012

 

The last time I was with President Obama at the White House was in 2009 when I participated in an event to promote our bid for the Chicago 2016 Games.  Unfortunately for the U.S. we lost the bid to Rio, but what happened that day was one of the most amazing experiences of my life when I got to teach President Obama to fence!

The picture of him trying to stab me with a light saber during our time together went around the world and when I left the White House that day I had a new motivation to make the 2012 Games because I wanted to come back to the White House with that picture and get him to sign it.  (P.S. the picture is printed and in my bag!)

It has been a month since I left London after the Closing Ceremony and I can’t believe how time has flown!    Four years of training, focus and preparation all for that moment, it comes, it is AMAZING and then it passes leaving you with memories for a lifetime…

 

Olympic swag I received upon arriving in DC - I can't get enough!

 

And finally a moment to exhale and to step back from the bubble of focused training and appreciate how lucky we are to be Olympians.  How lucky we are to represent the United States of America!

Tomorrow I’ll be joining my U.S. Olympic teammates as we visit the White House and meet President Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama.  It is a tradition that after the Games the Olympic team goes to meet the President.  I don’t know when this started, but  this will be my fifth (pinching myself!) trip to the White House and third post-Olympics visit.  It is all amazing beyond my wildest dreams when I stop to think about it.

While the President will be thanking us, I think more importantly, we will be thanking YOU!  I wouldn’t have made the Olympics without a ton of support from friends, family, coaches and teachers.  The support we received while over in London was tremendous from so many corners of the country.

So, from me and my teammates, THANK YOU AMERICA! I hope we made you proud in London and see you soon Mr. President Obama!