Jen Psaki says Team USA is invited to the White House after the Tokyo Olympic Games because only Jill Biden and UN ambassador got to attend
- Press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Team USA is getting an invite to the White House after the conclusion of the summer Tokyo Olympic Games
- ‘They’re invited,’ Psaki answered, before adding, ‘I’m inviting them here, to my house, wherever they want to come’
- There’s no date set yet for the visit, but Psaki said President Joe Biden is ‘probably as obsessed with the Olympics as I am, if not more’
- The White House was forced to send a slimmed down presidential delegation to the opening and closing ceremony of the Tokyo games due to COVID-19
- First lady Jill Biden led a delegation of two people to the opener, while UN Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield will lead a delegation of three to the closing
- Find out the latest Tokyo Olympic news including schedule, medal table and results right here
‘They’re invited,’ Psaki answered, before adding, ‘I’m inviting them here, to my house, wherever they want to come,’ she said from the podium to question posed by DailyMail.com.
She said there was no date set yet for the visit.
‘But certainly that’s a tradition and the president is probably as obsessed with the Olympics as I am, if not more,’ Psaki added. ‘So I expect there will be an invitation at some point.’
The event will happen after COVID-19 protocols forced the White House to send slimmed down presidential delegations to the opening and closing ceremonies of the Tokyo games.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Team USA is invited to the White House for an event after the summer Tokyo Olympic Games
Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the White House sent a slimmed down presidential delegation to the opening ceremony, led by first lady Jill Biden (pictured)
First lady Jill Biden led the presidential delegation to the opening ceremony, with only Raymond Greene, the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the U.S. embassy in Tokyo, joining her.
At the opening ceremony, Biden was only accompanied by agents, as even staff was barred from entry.
U.N. Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield will attend the closing ceremony for the U.S.
She’ll again bring Greene along, as well as Marcia Bernicat, a senior official at the State Department.
By comparison, former President Donald Trump had Vice President Mike Pence lead a delegation of seven individuals to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 winter games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Tokyo had announced a state of emergency prior to the opening of the games, cancelling plans to allow Japanese audiences into the facilities.
On her trip Dr. Biden wore a mask and stayed socially distant from other members of the small crowd.
She attended a women’s 3×3 basketball game against France, part of the swim competition and the women’s soccer match against New Zealand.
Instead of meeting the athletes in person, Dr. Biden held a Zoom meeting with Team USA hours before the opening ceremony from the ambassador’s residence in Tokyo.
‘I want to thank each person who helped you be here today. Now those years of work, the drive and faith that have kept you going, have led you here. Congratulations,’ she told the athletes virtually. ‘Becoming an Olympian is a rare accomplishment in a normal time. But you did it during a global pandemic.’
Afterward she told the reporters and the staff in the room, ‘It was emotional,’ having to meet with Team USA virtually.
‘It meant a lot to me. And to Joe,’ she added. ‘It should be exciting to watch the events.’
As of Wednesday morning, the U.S. has collected the most medals at the summer games – 79 – edging out China’s 70. China, however, has won the most gold – 32, over the U.S.’ 25.