The first family is skipping the Rio Games, but they sent their best wishes to Team USA
(NBC)–As Americans tune into the Olympics to cheer on Team USA, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama shared their favorite memories from the games in a video posted on The White House Facebook page.
Laughing as they interviewed each other, the “life-long, die-hard” Olympic fans also shared the sports they would compete in if they could. The video was posted Monday evening and had more than 4.4 million views a day later.
The first lady talked about watching the Olympic games growing up, recounting how her entire neighborhood would watch the games every night, “an event” that would “take over life.”
She said she always loves watching the gymnastics competitions.
“They are phenomenal,” Michelle Obama said. “If I could flip like that, I would do it in a heartbeat.”
Asked what he most enjoys watching, the president said he thinks the gymnastics events are “spectacular” but finds them too tense.
“Anything involving your head pointing down is not something I do,” he said. “I’m like, ‘She’s going to fall!’ It makes me too tense.”
Instead, the president said his favorite event to watch is the 200-meter dash, and that his favorite Olympian was Jessie Owens.
“Not only being the fastest man in the world, but you’re doing it in front of the Nazis,” Obama said. “Sending a clear signal about what America stands for, the equality of all human beings. Pretty powerful stuff.”
The first family is skipping the Rio Games, choosing instead to spend their time on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. Secretary of State John Kerry is leading the U.S. presidential delegation to Rio.
President Obama has skipped every Olympic Games during his time in office. The first lady lead the U.S. delegation to the 2012 London Olympics and Vice President Joe Biden represented the White House at both winter Olympics of their tenure, Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014.
“Bring home the gold,” Obama said in a message for Team USA. “Red, white and blue! Proud of you guys. Thanks for everything, I know you guys have been training very hard and you guys are going to do great.”