By Jim Berlin
Obama’s remarks, made in the Oval Office after the President’s daily briefing, were in response to a question on whether he was closely following the Olympics.
“I catch what I can between my duties as campaigner-in-chief,” he said, “and I’m always struck by successful jocks who think, well, it must be because I’m just such a great jock. Hey, there are a lot of great jocks out there.
“Or they say, it must be because I worked harder than everybody else,” he added. “Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking jocks out there.
“In every Olympian’s past,” Obama said, “there were parents and a great coach somewhere in their lives. Without them, and without those roads and bridges and the very clothes they wear – all made by others – they’d be training butt-naked in their basements and backyards instead of some fancy sports facility.
“Let me tell you something,” he chuckled, “swimmers and gymnasts who train naked on swing sets and in their backyard pools are not going to bring home the gold.
“In fact,” he added, “without clothing they would not even be allowed on the airplanes that carry them to the Olympics.
“There’s a reason athletes at The Games are housed in a place called Olympic Village,” Obama continued. “It’s to remind all of them that it takes a village to raise an athlete, and a village to raise a villager. It even takes a village to build a village – and another village to build that village.”
Obama said he had no problem with Olympic medalists retaining a replica of their awards, “but to be fair the original medals should be housed in a National Olympic Jock Museum.
“That way, all Americans can view, handle and be photographed holding the medals all of them earned. I especially want a photo with the gold I’ll win in basketball,” he said.