John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

FILA apologizes to IOC about recent protests

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Acting world wrestling chief Nenad Lalovic met with IOC president Jacques Rogge Thursday to discuss wrestling’s aim to get back in the Olympics.

Lalovic said Rogge detailed the tough task ahead of the sport, which was eliminated from the Games in a vote last month, but can earn its spot back through two IOC votes later this year. But now wrestling faces seven other prospective sports all vying to fill 2020’s one vacancy on the schedule.

Lalovic also apologized for the recent protests by three Olympic medalists who have returned their awards, and another that is on a hunger strike.

“I strongly believe it is not good for wrestling,” he said.

New FILA official Aleksandr Karelin – a three-time Olympic Greco-Roman champ – scolded the recent protesters on FILA’s website, posting that the governing body “would like to request each of you to redirect your passions. We appreciate your tenacity and understand that complacency is not in your DNA.

“Nonetheless, returning your gold medal is counterproductive. Before the practice escalates, we urge you to keep your Olympic medals and celebrate your achievement.”

We assume they’ll follow suit, because of his stature in the community and also because of his actual stature as a man. But seriously, he could probably still beat a lot of them up.

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: