U.S. President George W. Bush(L) addresses a see-off ceremony ahead of the departure of the US Olympic delegation at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC., July 21, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
WASHINGTON, July 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President George
W. Bush on Monday held a reception for U.S. Olympians at the White House,
wishing them good luck at the upcoming Beijing Olympics.
Speaking to dozens of the members of the U.S. Olympic team in the Rose Garden, the president said he hopes they will represent the "American character" to the world, being "humble in victory and gracious in defeat."
U.S. President George W. Bush(L in front) shakes hands with an athlete in wheel during a see-off ceremony ahead of the departure of the US Olympic delegation at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC., July 21, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
"By showing respect for your competitors, you will
demonstrate America's respect for the world, " he said.
Bush also said he is very excited about attending the
opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics and he is "fired up and ready to go,"
apparently borrowing a famous phrase from U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful
The U.S. Olympians presented the president a U.S.
Olympic team jersey printed with "Bush 08", which Bush gladly accepted.
The president, a sports fan himself, jokingly said
that if the U.S. Olympic team doesn't think he's too old, maybe he can compete
in the Olympic bicycle games.
Bush will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing
Olympics on Aug. 8 and will probably watch some early basketball games and