By Jueseppi B.
This afternoon, the President and First Lady hosted members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House, in honor of their performance in this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
At an event in the East Room of the White House, the First Lady told the athletes that she was “truly amazed” by their performances in Sochi:
I am really in awe of everything you do, as so many people here in America and across the globe are. Again and again, you all showed us that being an Olympian is about heart; it’s about guts; and it’s about giving it your all no matter what stands in your way. And that’s a message that I try to convey to young people all the time — the idea that if you work hard and commit yourselves to a goal, and then pick yourself up when you fall, that there is nothing that you can’t achieve.
President Obama echoed the First Lady’s remarks, saying that he and the First Lady “could not be prouder of Team USA.” The President commended the athletes for their “dominating performances” in this year’s Winter Games, noting the 46 medals they brought home this year.
From our ski jumpers who fought for equality, to the athletes and coaches who served our country in uniform … these athletes all send a message that resonates far beyond the Olympic Village. And that’s always been the power of the Olympics. In going for the gold and pushing yourselves to be the best, you inspire the rest of us to try to, if not be the best, at least be a little better.
“All of you remind us,” the President told the athletes, “the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight.”
The President and First Lady, however, weren’t the only ones who enjoyed today’s event. Check out some of Team USA’s tweets and Instagram posts from their White House visit:
Remarks by the President and the First Lady at Visit of the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Athletes
Spring Has Sprung: The Sixth-Annual White House Garden Planting
Yesterday, the First Lady welcomed local students andFoodCorps leaders on the South Lawn for the sixth-annual planting of the White House Kitchen Garden. The garden was first planted in 2009 to commence a nationwide conversation on healthy eating and inspired the First Lady to launch Let’s Move!
At this year’s planting, the First Lady hosted the founders of FoodCorps, a program dedicated to teaching our nation’s children about healthy food while ensuring they have access to it during the school day. This fall, FoodCorps members will serve D.C.-area schools including Cleveland Elementary School, Friendship Public Charter School, and Kimball Elementary School — and students from these schools accompanied FoodCorps at the garden planting. In addition, students from Bancroft Elementary School and Harriet Tubman Elementary School who have participated in previous White House Garden events also attended this year’s planting.
We are excited to see that more and more people are now planting vegetable gardens across the nation. According to a report released yesterday by the National Gardening Association:
- 35% of all households in America are growing food at home or in a community garden, a 17% increase in participation in the last five years.
- 2 million more households are engaging in community gardening, an increase of 200% since 2008.
In addition, the first-ever White House Pollinator Garden was planted to support bees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators. Nearly two-thirds of the foods we often consume are pollinated by bees, so we rely on bees for much of our food. Therefore, it’s important to have plants in the garden that support pollination, like the ones that were planted yesterday. This garden will also serve to raise awareness of the major environmental threats currently facing pollinators across the nation.
Interested in joining the millions of Americans who have started planting vegetable gardens? The First Lady has put together aKitchen Garden Checklist that provides you with easy-to-follow instructions on how to start a vegetable garden at your home. Planting a vegetable garden is a great project for the entire family, allowing children to learn while also providing healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables for meals this season.
April 03, 2014 | 53:01 | Public Domain
White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.
President Obama Signs the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” Research Act
April 03, 2014 | 3:51 | Public Domain
President Obama delivers remarks in the Oval Office before signing the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” Research Act, which will put millions of additional dollars into pediatric medical research.
Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 2019
On Thursday, April 3, 2014, the President signed into law:
H.R. 2019, the “Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act,” which terminates the entitlement of national committees of eligible political parties to payments from the “Presidential Election Campaign Fund” for presidential nominating conventions; transfers amounts maintained in the Campaign Fund for these national committees to a new “10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund;” and authorizes appropriations out of the Initiative Fund for grants to be made by the National Institutes of Health for pediatric research.
Statements and Releases - April 03, 2014
Combating Climate Change: Secretary Hagel Hosts the U.S.-ASEAN Defense Forum
April 03, 2014
12:52 PM EDT
As this week’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reminds us, combating climate change requires more than cutting greenhouse gas emissions. We must also prepare for the impacts that we can’t avoid, and the United States must continue to help our allies and partners do the same. That’s what American leadership is about.
That leadership is on display this week in Hawaii, where Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is hosting the 10 defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a first-of-its-kind gathering on U.S. soil. One of the goals of this meeting is to identify how our militaries can work together more effectively to tackle non-traditional security challenges, including climate change and natural disasters.
As Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines showed last fall, natural disasters pose a growing threat to regional stability, security, and prosperity, and put countless lives and resources at risk. Even though we can’t attribute any one storm to climate change, as the President has said, we know that “in a world that’s warmer than it used to be, all weather events are affected by a warming planet.”
Climate change is not just an environmental problem; it’s an economic and security problem as well. The United States military is unmatched in its humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities, and Southeast Asia is one of the regions expected to face some of the worst effects of climate change — including floods, famines, and sea level rise. The Department of Defense expects the frequency, scale, and complexity of future humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions in the region to increase in the future.
The Asia-Pacific region is a critical part of the global economy, but its continued security and prosperity will be challenged by the impacts of climate change. This isn’t a challenge that any nation can handle on its own. As the Defense Department’s 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review makes clear, climate change “creates both a need and an opportunity for nations to work together.” Forging strong partnerships among military and civilian agencies is a key part of preparing for the impacts of climate change. That’s why Secretary Hagel and military leaders are working to bolster the capabilities of our allies and partners in these areas.
In addition to touring some of our latest capabilities deployed to the Pacific — such as the Navy’s newest amphibious transport ship, the U.S.S. Anchorage — Secretary Hagel and the ASEAN defense ministers will visit NOAA’s Inouye Regional Center with NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, and will receive briefings on tsunami warning, threat, and detection. USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah will also lead a roundtable discussion exploring new ways we can better work together to enhance humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
During the Obama Administration, DoD has focused on adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change. DoD invests in energy efficiency, new technologies, and renewable energy sources at its installations because it helps service members carry out their mission. And these efforts are achieving real-world results.
In 2012, energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements like tactical solar gear at combat outposts in Afghanistan saved roughly 20 million gallons of fuel — taking 7,000 truckloads worth of fuel off the battlefield. By 2025, private-sector investments on DoD installations will be generating 3,000 megawatts of renewable energy. That’s enough to power 750,000 homes — 50 percent more power than the Hoover Dam. And because DoD knows that climate change is already underway, it is assessing its coastal and desert installations to ensure they will be resilient in the future. These initiatives all support President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which outlines how the United States will work with the international community in addressing these serious global challenges.
Planning for climate change and making smarter energy investments not only makes our military stronger. It also saves money, reduces demand, and protects the environment. That’s why President Obama and his administration will continue to lead and act on climate change wherever possible — including by forging strong partnerships with our regional allies and helping them prepare for and respond to their own climate challenges.