Michelle Obama in London for ‘Let’s Move’, Greets Athletes

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Michelle Obama played a little tennis with kids, handed out some hugs and posed for photos with strapping athletes Friday as she formally began her stint leading the U.S. Olympics delegation.

The U.S. first lady told a crowd of young people that the Summer Games are about more than just gold medals — but also urged U.S. athletes in London to strive to claim top prizes all the same.

“Try to have fun. Try to breathe a little bit,” Mrs. Obama told American athletes at a breakfast in east London near the Olympic Park.

Obama, who said she was “just in awe” of their company, told the athletes that some of her fondest sports memories stemmed from watching the Olympics on television. She shared the story of her father, who was athletic but contracted multiple sclerosis “in the prime of his life.”

“He retained his love of sports, truly,” Mrs. Obama said. “And the Olympics was a special time for him to watch amazing athletes of all abilities compete on the world stage.”



Pictured: Top – (L-R) David Beckham, Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants, Brandi Chastain and First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama celebrate Nickelodeon joins Let’s Move for ‘Let’s Move London’ event at the American Ambassadors Residence, Winfield House, Regents Park on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images For Nickelodeon). Bottom – US First Lady Michelle Obama (C) plays tug-of-war during ‘Let’s Move-London’ event at the Winfield House in London on July 27, 2012, hours before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. AFP PHOTO/ JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages)