AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Indian sports minister hopes to lift IOC ban

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The morning after having the Indian Olympic Association suspended by the IOC because it failed to comply with the Olympic charter, Indian sports minister Jitendra Singh is prepared to do whatever he can to ensure that the ban is lifted and the country’s athletes can compete in the Games.

Singh told reporters Wednesday that he met with IOA officials earlier this week to warn them about the ban, and to have them amend their constitution to include government guidelines on age and tenure limitations for committee members.

“Today, instead of playing the blame game, the need is to have a future strategy,” Singh said. “I will once again talk to the IOC and write to them that let’s talk about solving this problem for the future of Indian sportspersons. The government will take every step and we are willing to mediate.”

The ban was announced Tuesday after the IOA allowed Lalit Bhanot, a sports official who had spent eleven months in custody for corruption charges stemming from the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, to run unopposed for secretary-general of the country’s Olympic Committee.

London marked the  most successful Games in history for India, which won six medals including two silver and four bronze. India has won eleven medals in field hockey in Olympic history, including eight gold.

President Obama to female Olympians: ‘Y’all crushed it’ (video)

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President Barack Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Obama opened his speech by saying that he had planned on doing a floor routine with Simone Biles, before ultimately deciding that the room was too crowded. First Lady Michelle Obama interjected to remind the crowd that her husband “can’t touch his toes.”

The President then singled out the athletic accomplishments of Olympians including Biles, Michelle Carter, Simone Manuel, Claressa Shields, Kristin Armstrong, Kim Rhode, Allyson Felix, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

He also recognized: Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, Sam Kendricks, the U.S. Army reservist who put down his pole and stood at attention when the national anthem started playing, Will Claye, who proposed to U.S. hurdler Queen Harrison after winning an Olympic silver medal, and Abbey D’Agostino, who helped an opponent to her feet after a crash.

“That is exactly what the Olympic spirit and the American spirit should be all about,” Obama said about the sportsmanship of D’Agostino.

The President was particularly enthusiastic about the performance of the female athletes.

“2016 belonged to America’s women Olympians,” Obama said. “Y’all crushed it.”

Watch Obama’s full speech here.

After Obama’s speech, Biles presented him with a surfboard autographed by the Olympians in attendance.

“I’m going to have a lot of time to surf next year,” Obama said.

MORE: Photos of Team USA at the White House

Photos: Team USA at the White House

Twitter: @TeamUSA
Twitter: @TeamUSA
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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Below are some of the best photos of Team USA from inside the White House: