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Marsha Maxwell

Olympians and Paralympians at the White House

By April 21, 2010

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More than 200 members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams from the 2010 Vancouver Games were honored at a White House reception with President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama Wednesday afternoon, April 21.

The group included quite a few Utah residents, notably short-track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno, the most decorated Winter Olympian in U.S. history. "For me coming here, for all of us coming here, it was quite the honor," Ohno said.

The White House reception capped off two days of events held to honor the Olympians in the nation's capital. It was supposed to have been held on the south lawn, but pouring rain forced everyone indoors, where the President and First Lady went from room to room greeting the athletes.

"Now that's what I expected a snowboarder to look like," the President told Sandy resident and Olympic snowboarder Louie Vito. Ultra-laid-back Vito was wearing a black beanie, track suit, t-shirt and a silver necklace featuring his personal "LV" logo. Snowboarding gold medalist and mulit-sport superstar Shawn White revealed a new talent by using two iPhones at the same time, one in each hand (presumably not while he was talking to the President).

During their visit, Olympic athletes highlighted First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, an effort to combat childhood obesity. Mrs. Obama visited the D.C. River Terrace School Wednesday morning, where she was joined by 2010 Olympians Shani Davis and Hannah Kearney and 2010 Paralympians Alana Nichols and Heath Calhoun.

View the athletes' Washington D.C. photo gallery

Read about Utah's 52 2010 Olympic athletes

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Photo: Apolo Anton Ohno, Olympic Short Track Speed Skater, makes remarks to reporters after meeting United States President Barack Obama and first lady Michele Obama at the White House on April 21, 2010 in Washington, DC. By Ron Sachs-Pool, Getty Images.

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