FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Fairfield's Julie Chu, who won a silver medal in hockey in Sochi, Russia, had a place of honor on the podium Thursday with President Barack Obama as a delegation of U.S. Olympians visited the White House.
The president and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted more than 200 U.S. Olympians and Paralympians at the White House, congratulating the athletes on their performances and thanking them for representing the U.S. during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi.
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," she said in a statement. "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."
The president commended the athletes for their "dominating performances" and the 46 medals they brought home.
"All of you remind us," the President told the athletes, "the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight."
Chu, a four-time Olympian, was elected to be the U.S. flag-bearer for the closing ceremonies in Sochi. A Fairfield native, she has three silvers and a bronze from her Olympic competitions.
Read the full remarks from President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama here or watch the video above. Obama acknowledges the silver medal won by Chu and the women's hockey team at about the 10:45 mark.