Biden to invite Tokyo, Beijing Olympians to White House in unique ceremony

In a ‘first of its kind event’ both Olympic delegations will be honored in a combined ceremony in Washington

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the Royal Castle, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Warsaw, Poland, March 26, 2022. REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the Royal Castle, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Warsaw, Poland, March 26, 2022. REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel/File Photo

U.S. President Joe Biden has invited over 800 Olympic and Paralympic athletes who competed in the Tokyo and Beijing Games to the White House for a ‘first of its kind’ reception in early May.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said bringing together both delegations from two different Games may be a challenge.

“It’s not an easy task, but I think we’ve proven Team USA and the team behind the team is more than capable of doing hard things.”

The Tokyo 2020 gold and silver medals of Olympic Team USA swimmer Katie Ledecky are seen hanging on her at the Empire State Building in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
The Tokyo 2020 gold and silver medals of Olympic Team USA swimmer Katie Ledecky are seen hanging on her at the Empire State Building in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

After the Tokyo 2020 Games were postponed by a year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. finished with 113 medals overall and 39 golds in the Tokyo Summer Games.

“For athletes (who) take so much pride in representing the United States, this is a really great honor,” said Hirshland.

The medal table in Beijing totaled eight golds among the 25 overall medals for Team USA.

“It’s also a great opportunity for them to reconnect outside the Games environment and for us to gather and truly celebrate all that they accomplished.”