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President Obama honors Olympians in final press conference (video)

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Barack Obama has honored Olympians in his final days as president, including specifically naming gold medalists Simone Biles and Michael Phelps on Wednesday.

At his final presidential press conference, Obama brought up the Olympics when asked if he thought there would be another black president.

His answer at the 41:45 mark in the above video:

“I think I’ve used this analogy before. We killed it in the Olympics in Brazil. And Michelle and I, we always have our — the Olympic team here. And it’s a lot of fun, first of all, just because, you know, anytime you’re meeting somebody who’s the best at anything, it’s impressive.

And these mostly very young people are all just so healthy looking, and they just beam and exude fitness and health. And so we have a great time talking to them. But they are of all shapes, sizes, colors. You know, the genetic diversity that is on display is remarkable.

And if you look at Simone Biles, and then you look at a Michael Phelps, they’re completely different. And it’s precisely because of those differences that we’ve got people here who can excel at any sport.

And by the way, more than half of our medals [in Rio] came from women. And the reason is is because we had the foresight several decades ago with something called Title IX to make sure that women got opportunities in sports, which is why our women compete better, because they have more opportunities than folks in other countries.

I use that as a metaphor, and if in fact we continue to keep opportunity open to everybody, then yeah, we’re going to have a woman president. We’re going to have a Latino president. We’ll have a Jewish president, a Hindu president. Who knows who we’re going to have.

I suspect we’ll have a whole bunch of mixed up presidents at some point that nobody really knows what to call ’em.”

MORE: Obama appoints four Olympic medalists to positions

President Obama mentions soccer players on Equal Pay Day

Barack Obama
AP
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President Barack Obama generically referenced professional soccer players when calling for equal pay for equal work for men and women on Tuesday.

“Equal pay for equal work should be a fundamental principle of our economy,” Obama said on Equal Pay Day. “It’s the idea that whether you’re a high school teacher, a business executive or a professional soccer player or tennis player, your work should be equally valued and rewarded — whether you are a man or a woman. It’s a simple ideal. It’s a simple principle. … But it’s one where we still fall short. … We don’t want some of our best players on the sidelines.”

That last sentence conjures recent U.S. women’s soccer player comments when asked about the possibility of an Olympic boycott.

U.S. women’s stars filed a wage-discrimination complaint against U.S. Soccer two weeks ago.

MORE: Canadian Prime Minister trolls President Obama with Olympic joke

Usain Bolt on meeting President Obama, Lexi Thompson, what he whispered to Ryan Bailey

Usain Bolt, Barack Obama
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source: AP
AP

NEW YORK — Before Usain Bolt races at the Adidas Grand Prix on Saturday (NBC, NBC Sports Live Extra, 1-3 p.m. ET), the six-time Olympic champion discussed recent chats with President Barack Obama, golfer Lexi Thompson and U.S. sprinter Ryan Bailey.

On April 9, Bolt met Obama in Kingston (video here). What did they say?

“It was one of those moments that I never thought would happen,” Bolt said. “I remember when [I was told] we might be able to meet the president. I was playing it cool, but when I actually met him, it was a different situation. I was dumbstruck. I didn’t know really what to say to the President of the United States. For me, it was one of those moments that puts you in awe. It was wonderful. I really enjoyed having a small talk with him. He knew me pretty well, and he knew my pose.

“I didn’t say much. He was saying what I did was great, and, ‘I’m sure your country’s proud of you, continue striving to be the best.’ I was mumbling a lot of stuff. Not a lot of words came out.”

“What surprised me was he said, ‘Yo, let’s do the pose together.’ That, for me, was the best thing. I was mid-sentence as he said it. Right into my pose instantly.”

Adidas Grand Prix preview, schedule, broadcast info

The previous April, Bolt shared a flight to Milan with the golfer Thompson, a fellow Puma athlete, to film this hot-tub commercial.

Here’s what Thompson said of Bolt earlier this week:

“We had a lot of laughs on that airplane ride. We talked about TV shows. He got mad at me for some reason for saying that my favorite show was ‘Criminal Minds’ or ‘Law & Order’ for some reason. He was a very cool guy. I got to spend a few hours with him. He was cracking jokes the whole time. He had a camera in his face the few hours I got to spend with him, and he was just a very laid back, cool guy.”

Bolt’s road to the Rio Olympics and to a planned 2017 retirement will be documented in a film for theatrical release.

Thompson, a 20-year-old ranked No. 11 in the world, could join Bolt at the Rio 2016 Olympics, golf’s first time at the Games since 1904.

Here’s what Bolt remembered from his conversation with Thompson, namely her TV favorites:

“All of those shows are pretty much the same thing, the same episode every week. This is why I stopped watching, ‘Walker, Texas Ranger,’ stuff like that, because the episodes are pretty much the same. Somebody dies, and somebody goes and solves the mystery. It’s the same thing.

“I told her I can’t play golf to save my life. We talked a little bit about golf. I’m not going to be one of those persons that retires to go play golf. I won’t be one of those persons. I’ll probably play basketball or soccer or something.”

Finally, Bolt discussed his mixed-zone whisper to the U.S. sprinter Bailey, after Bailey anchored the Americans to a 4x100m win over Bolt anchoring the Jamaicans at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, on May 2.

“I told him, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll get you back for that one. Don’t worry.’ He laughed,” Bolt said.

Bolt may get his chance at the World Championships in Beijing. The 4x100m relay, won by Jamaica at the last three World Championships and two Olympics, is Aug. 29 at the Bird’s Nest.

Flashback Video: Usain Bolt at the Athens 2004 Olympics