Michelle Obama welcomed thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities to the Special Olympic World Games on Saturday during a festive opening ceremony filled with cheers, songs and praise for their courage and determination.
“My husband and I, we are so proud of you, so incredibly proud of you, and we love you all from the bottom of our hearts,” the first lady said. She said the athletes were an example to the millions of people watching the event on television.
She was introduced by Special Olympian Tim Harris, who owns a restaurant in New Mexico that he said serves “breakfast, lunch and hugs!”
Mrs. Obama “knows the power of a hug,” he said, and shared one with the first lady.
Earlier, President Barack Obama welcomed the athletes by video.
About 6,500 athletes from 165 countries streamed into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to cheers and roars. The athletes will participate in 25 sports over nine days, ranging from weightlifting to the triathlon.
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First Lady Michelle Obama Opens Special Olympics in Los Angeles was originally published on praisecleveland.com