Tuesday, July 24, 2012

North American First Lady Michelle Obama Says London 2012 Olympics Can Promote Health And Fitness

From CBS News:
Michelle Obama says Olympics can promote health and fitness

(CBS News) First Lady Michelle Obama is preparing to lead the presidential delegation at the kick-off of the 2012 Olympic Games Friday and, she said, this is an opportunity to encourage kids to improve their health and fitness.

"Leading our nation's delegation and traveling to London is truly a dream come true," Obama said on a conference call with reporters Monday. "Some of my fondest memories when I was young and not so young involved watching the Olympics on TV and cheering on Team USA."

Obama will lead a delegation that includes past U.S. Olympians such as Brandi Chastain, Dominique Dawes, Grant Hill and Summer Sanders.

The first lady, who has made fighting childhood obesity a priority with her "Let's Move" initiative, said the games are an opportunity to promote health and fitness.

"I decided I wanted to turn that Olympic spirit and inspiration into action by using these games as a way to get more kids up and moving."

Obama said she is excited to host a "Let's Move!" event for 1,000 American military children and American and British students Friday. The event, co-sponsored by the State Department and by Nickelodeon [and will include an appearance by 'SpongeBob SquarePants'], will include sports stations, entertainment and appearances by Olympic and Paralympic legends.

She also declared July 28 "Let's Move! Olympic Fun Day," encouraging children and communities to cheer on Team USA and participate in athletic events across the country. At least 200 communities have signed up, and the number is expected to grow throughout the week.

While in London, in addition to her fitness campaign, Obama will also attend a reception for heads of state and hold a private meeting with Samantha Cameron, the wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes said the trip is an important way for the first lady to continue building the special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K.

"While this visit is about the Olympics, its also about advancing the close ties between the U.S. and the United Kingdom," Rhodes said.

Obama will conclude her trip Sunday with a visit to Mildenhall Air Force Base in England to visit American military families.
Also, from the Press Association via Orange UK News:
First Lady in London for Games

Michelle Obama will add her backing to Team USA as she begins a trip to the capital in support of the London Olympics.

The US First Lady will meet her nation's Olympians in an event at their east London training ground, before holding an event for 1,000 children aimed at boosting their interest in the Games.

Mrs Obama is leading the US presidential delegation which includes a ringside seat at the opening ceremony.

She begins her visit on Friday at the University of East London, where she will offer her support to athletes at an informal breakfast.

Later she will host a sporting event - called Let's Move! - at the US ambassador's residence in central London for about 1,000 US military children plus US and British students.

Let's Move! is an initiative created by the First Lady in a drive to combat childhood obesity within a generation.

David Beckham and Manchester United stars are also set to appear at the event, as well as Mark Ronson, Katy B and The Wanted - with SpongeBob SquarePants and the Power Rangers on hand to entertain the children.

Former gymnast Nadia Comaneci, ex-sprinter Carl Lewis and members of the US track and field team who will be competing at London 2012 are among the line-up of famous sporting faces set to attend.

It is hoped the sports stations provided by Nickelodeon, the NBA and USA Basketball, US Tennis Association, USA Field Hockey, USA Track and Field, Manchester United and Right to Play will help the youngsters get active.

Earlier this week Mrs Obama said coming to London for the Olympics was "a dream come true" and said she was "beyond proud" to be leading the delegation.

"If anybody had asked me when I was 10 or 11, or actually 40, whether I would have been doing this, I would have bet not," she said.

"Some of my fondest memories when I was young and not so young involved watching the Olympics on TV and cheering on Team USA."

Tonight she will attend a Buckingham Palace reception for heads of state, hosted by the Queen, with whom she struck up a warm friendship on previous visits.

On Saturday the US delegation is spearheading an Olympic fun day to allow US youngsters to cheer on their athletes in London and try out different sports in their neighbourhoods.

Mrs Obama said: "I am very excited about this trip for so many reasons but I am excited that it will serve as a powerful opportunity to send another message to the kids in this country and other countries about the importance of staying fit, learning to compete and staying healthy.

"This is not just about sports, this is about being active."