Remarks by President Trump Welcoming Team USA for the 2019 Special Olympics World Games
White House Oval Office Washington D.C. July 18 12:39 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I want to thank you all for being here. This is special for me and special for the First Lady because this is the Special Olympics.
And, I have to say, Vice President Pence and Karen Pence have been so involved. And because she does such a job with so many things, I've asked Karen Pence to represent our government and our country on Special Olympics. And we have a lot of the great champions here. We have some of the winners. They won, and they came in a couple of seconds and a couple of thirds, but a lot of first places. And we did fantastically well in the Special Olympics.
And I'd like to have Karen Pence say a few words. You have done a fantastic job, and we appreciate it.
MRS. PENCE: Well, thank you, Mr. President. And thank you for asking me to lead the delegation. This was probably the highest honor I will ever have as Second Lady.
And you have here, represented - you have representatives from Special Olympics, but you also have coaches here. You have unified athletes and you have Special Olympics athletes here. And they represent several different sports. And we're just so proud of all of them.
We've become close friends. I got to see them at the Winter Games and then I got to see them again at the Summer Games. And it's so great to see the familiar faces.
But one of the great things that I think the President needs to know about all of you is that you are such good representatives of our country. They have made friends with other athletes all over the world. And they stay in touch all the time. And you are really adding to the diplomacy that the United States has.
You make us so proud - not just for your athletic prowess, but for the way you represent our country and the way you reach out to other nations and other athletes. And it was such a privilege to be able to be here with all of you today.
And I don't know if Mary Davis - the President wondered if you could say a few words since you're the CEO of the Special Olympics.
MS. DAVIS: Sure, Mrs. Pence. Thank you so much for the opportunity, President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
MS. DAVIS: I know our athletes are absolutely thrilled to be here. We create an environment every single day in Special Olympics so that our athletes can be the very best they can be. And we also create an environment so that the rest of the world can understand their abilities and their courage and their strength and their determination and so that they will be more accepting and we can build a more inclusive community and world.
And we were so fortunate to have the Games hosted in Abu Dhabi. And the ambassador is here, I know, today. And they've just been incredibly supportive of our efforts, and so have you. And in doing this, you are all creating a more inclusive world for everybody.
Thank you -
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.
MS. DAVIS: - for Mrs. Pence being here. I've been at the World Games in Austria and also in Abu Dhabi. We just had a blast; we had a great time. She saw soccer, she saw bocce. (Laughter.)
MRS. PENCE: (Laughs.) Yeah.
MS. DAVIS: Not golf, mind you, but - (laughter) - all the other things. And it was a great experience. And you can see the faces of our athletes, proudly wearing their medals, standing tall. And -
THE PRESIDENT: Right. All of you are fantastic. Just fantastic.
MS. DAVIS: - it's all through opportunity. So, thank you for your support.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Mary, thank you. And you did a fantastic job. It was a great success.
Where is the ambassador? Where is the ambassador?
Mr. Ambassador, you don't have to stand there. (Laughter.) Come on up. Would you like to say a few words? You've done a fantastic job - your country has - and it was a great Special Olympics. So thank you very much.
AMBASSADOR AL OTAIBA: Thank you, sir. It was just really an honor to host it. And these athletes represented the country very well. And the UAE not just was honored, it was happy, it was proud. The people in the country were actually joyful for the entire week that this was going on. We were worried that we weren't going to have enough volunteers; we ended up having 21,000 volunteers sign up for the event.
So it was just a reflection of how well it went.
THE PRESIDENT: That's fantastic, isn't it? Right? Wow. Congratulations. Say hello to all the folks.
AMBASSADOR AL OTAIBA: Thank you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Our friends, right? Great friends. Great friendship. Thank you very much.
Well, I just want to congratulate every - I mean, what you've done is incredible. Bringing home all those medals. How did you feel about winning? How did you feel?
MS. CAMERON: I did good. I did five - over five time - - five times over.
THE PRESIDENT: Whoa. (Laughter.) That's not bad, huh? (Applause.)
MS. CAMERON: I did - I did fourth - fourth place.
THE PRESIDENT: Right. Very good. Thank you very much.
MRS. PENCE: But, Mr. President, Jane was telling us beforehand - we were waiting in the Roosevelt Room - she was sharing that she was so excited that her dad and she both have the same color hair as you. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Wow.
MS. CAMERON: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, wow.
MRS. PENCE: Pretty proud of that.
THE PRESIDENT: I hope he has a beautiful head of hair like me. (Laughter.) Maybe it's better.
MS. CAMERON: But my dad (inaudible) hair.
THE PRESIDENT: He likes the hair. (Laughter.) That's very interesting. I'm going to have to think about that. (Laughter.) Thank you. Say hello to your dad, right?
MS. CAMERON: No. I'll tell you why.
THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead.
MS. CAMERON: My dad died.
THE PRESIDENT: Ooh.
MS. CAMERON: And my mom too.
THE PRESIDENT: When did your dad die?
MS. CAMERON: (Inaudible) home.
THE PRESIDENT: That's too bad.
MS. CAMERON: And my mom too.
THE PRESIDENT: And you loved them both, right?
MS. CAMERON: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: That's good. And they're proud of you, you know? They're looking down right now, because you're in the Oval Office. This is the big stuff, right? You're in the Oval Office, and they're looking down on you and they see gold, right? That's gold.
MS. CAMERON: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: That's really something. And they're very proud of you, right?
MS. CAMERON: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: So, congratulations.
MS. CAMERON: Thanks.
THE PRESIDENT: Who would like to say? Would you like to say something? Anybody? On your great victory?
MRS PENCE: Well, I think you should tell about your special accomplishment. (Applause.)
MR. MILLETT: On behalf of Special Olympics (inaudible) - we have 15 total. We're (inaudible) to be here in this great room. It's a great honor and privilege to be here.
My shot was okay. It was three-fourths shot at the end of the game. It was swish. It went viral. It really (inaudible). (Laughter.)