As the United States Olympics Team goes for the gold, they have a special fan cheering them on: First Lady Jill Biden.
Ahead of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 23, NBC News published an open letter from Dr. Biden to the athletes competing on behalf of the U.S., in which she acknowledged their immense commitment to competing at the games amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Becoming an Olympian is a rare accomplishment in a normal time, but you did it during a global pandemic," she wrote. "You are forever one of the most elite, most celebrated and most accomplished athletes in the world."
She also made clear that while they are representing the United States and competing at the highest possible level, they have not only her full support and gratitude, but also that of the whole country. As she put it, "Your entire nation is cheering you on and we are grateful for what you've given us: the chance to come together in common awe and appreciation for your accomplishments and the shared joy of rooting for our country on the edge of our seats."
In a divisive time for the world, Biden credited the athletes with bringing the country together "in a way that little else can."
"You remind us that with dedication, hard work, courage and teamwork, incredible things are possible," she pointed out. "What a gift you give. What an honor it is to watch you soar. So, thank you for your hard work. Thank you for the tears and sweat that you've given to be here today. Thank you for representing our nation to the world."
In addition to speaking up for the United States team, the first lady also traveled to Tokyo, touching down on Thursday, July 22. The trip marked her first solo international outing since President Joe Biden was inaugurated. "Hello, Tokyo!!" her Instagram post read. "@teamusa I'm here for you! You make us all proud."
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)