The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
February 11, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks in Press Availability After Attending the Men's Olympic Speed Skating Event
Oval Lingotto
Turin, Italy

photos  Photos

6:46 P.M. (Local)

MRS. BUSH: Hey, everybody, that was huge thrill. Kerri, the rest of the delegation, come on - that was just a huge thrill, we were so excited to see Chad win - Houston, he's from Houston. It was a real thrill to get to see him win.

I got a whole lesson in speed skating from Eric Heiden, who was telling me everything about it. And it was really, really exciting and fun. I did get to see Chad's parents, who were sitting right there at the finish line. I just walked over and got to congratulate them. So we give him our very, very best congratulations. And it's really thrilling to see that gold medal win.

Laura Bush, her daughter, Barbara, and members of the U.S. Olympic Delegation, cheer on American Speed Skater Chad Hedrick Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006, during his heat at the 2006 U.S. Winter Olympics, in Turin, Italy. Hedrick went on to win the first gold medal for the United States.  White House photo by Shealah Craighead Q Did you give him the good luck? Is it because of you?

MRS. BUSH: I don't think so. I think it's because of his real hard work and great talent, obviously.

Q Mrs. Bush, as you look back on this trip, I know you still have two events to go, what's the most memorable moment, what are you going to tell the President?

MRS. BUSH: Well, we've had so many memorable moments, getting to meet Pope Benedict, which was such a thrill, having lunch with the Prime Minister. Then we've had a terrific delegation. It's been really fun with all the delegates.

And then of course, now, this was the reason we were here, the Olympics, to be able to see a race like this and it was really, really terrific and so exciting.

Q Do you wish you could stay? (Laughter.)


Q So do we. (Laughter.)

Q Mrs. Bush, thank you for stopping. This week you've gotten to talk to a lot of Olympians, current and past. I wonder what you've learned this week about how they compete, how they win?

MRS. BUSH: Well, we talked about it today at lunch. I talked about it with Dorothy Hamill and Eric Heiden, about the talent that each of these Olympians have, also they have that real drive, that real self discipline. A lot of people have talent, but not everybody has that willingness to compete and that drive and hard work that the Olympians do. So it was really thrilling.

Q That sounds like running for office. (Laughter.)

MRS. BUSH: It's a lot like it, I think.

Q Was it special that Chad was from Texas?

MRS. BUSH: Yes, especially. That made it even better that he was from Houston. I met him last night when I went to speak to our Olympians. And he came up right away and introduced himself. So that makes it even better that he's a Texan.

Q Prime Minister Sharon is out of surgery. Have you been keeping up with that?

MRS. BUSH: I haven't. I mean, I don't know anything more than you all do, probably. I know that he's been, you know, still in stable or critical condition and so we're praying for him and thinking about him.

Q Now that you've seen the speed skating, do you have any predictions about the rest of Chad's efforts in Torino?

Laura Bush flanked by members of the U.S. Olympic Delegation, (from left) Roland Betts, Dr. Debi Thomas, Herschel Walker and Dr. Eric Heiden meet with members of the press after watching the Men’s U.S. Speed Skating competition at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.  White House photo by Shealah Craighead MRS. BUSH: Well, I hope he does great in every single one. I'll be watching from overseas, watching on television to see the rest of the week. And now we're going on to ice hockey. Bye.

END 6:49 P.M. (Local)

Return to this article at:

Click to print this document