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Americans Ice Dancers lead Canadian rivals at worlds

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American Ice Dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White skated the best short program of the year Thursday to take a first round lead on Canadian rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir at worlds.

“It’s a really good sign when, from beginning to end, you’re having a good time,” White told the AP afterward. “It was one of those dream skates.”

The American pair scored a season-high 77.12 to grab a more than three-point advantage heading into Saturday’s free program, after the Canadians faltered in front of the home crowd in Ontario.

The two teams have basically traded wins at every major event on the schedule since 2010, with the Canadians holding the advantage after earning Olympic gold and two world championships. But the momentum may be shifting in Davis and White’s favor now, as the pair has won every competition they’ve entered this year, and have all but locked up this season’s Grand Prix title.

“We feel different than we felt two years ago,” White said. “Our confidence is as high as it’s ever been.”

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: