President Barack Obama is surely one of the more athletic residents of the White House in recent history.
In addition to the frequent rounds of golf - a pastime enjoyed by most of his predecessors - Obama is known for shooting hoops with aides (having had a basketball court installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.) and occasionally even mixing it up on the court with college athletes.
But, as Obama acknowledged Wednesday, there are definite limits to his athletic abilities.
Speaking to a crowd of campaign supporters in Ohio, Obama acknowledged the success of U.S. Olympians at the London summer games, noting in particular the success of swimmer Michael Phelps, who became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time with 19 medals - 15 of them gold.
Obama, however, reserved special praise for the U.S. women's gymnastics team, who captured the gold medal for the first time since 1996.
"I have to tell you, when I'm watching -- when people run track, I understand, I know how to run. They're just much faster," he said. "And I know how to swim -- they just swim much better than I do."
He added, "These gymnastics folks -- I don't understand how they do what they do."
Obama noted that he had called the team to congratulate them on their success.
"So I told these young ladies as I was congratulating them, how do you not bust your head every time you're on that little balance beam," he said. "I couldn't walk across that balance beam."
If the balance beam is intimidating, one can't imagine Obama attempting the vault or uneven bars anytime soon.
And while Obama certainly has his own floor routine well practiced and polished from countless campaign rallies, it's hard to see Olympic judges awarding him much in the way of points for difficulty for handshakes and hugs compared to the leaps and tumbles performed in London.
by RTT Staff Writer
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