Monday, October 13, 2008

White House


As many of you know I visited the White House this past week with many other Olympians.  We had a big celebration dinner at our hotel the night of the sixth.  It was nice to see many people on the swim team and other teams that I hadn't seen since Beijing.  The US Olympic Committee made a really cool highlight video of the events in Beijing that we all watched and ended up getting really pumped up to!


The morning of the seventh we all woke up and left the hotel by 6:30 am.  It ended up taking us about an hour and a half to actually get to the White House due to traffic.  We showed up and went through security to get onto the front lawn.  

I was taken into the first floor of the White House because Michael Phelps, Shawn Johnson, Nastia Luikin and I were in a video with the First Dog named Barney.  The past eight years Barney has had a video where he takes viewers around the White House and shows them the holiday decorations.  All four of us had individual roles and then we had a role with our fellow teammate.  Michael and I talked about swimming and the relay of course.  Shawn and Nastia told Barney it looked like his decorating job was a perfect 10.  The lines were all pretty corny but it was fun.  At one point I was sitting on the couch with Barney and discussing the decorations with him.  

We finished the taping and went out to the stage on the front lawn where President Bush was going to speak to us.  Shawn, Michael, Nastia and I all had marked spots right behind Laura Bush and President Bush.  It was really cool to see them.  He came out and shook our hands.  We all listened to him speak and then he came and talked to us briefly afterwards.  I got my picture taken with him but unfortunately the person taking the picture took it before he was looking at the camera:(

At the conclusion of the festivities outside, Michael and I were escorted inside and got a private tour of the White House with a secret service agent and a White House representative.  The coolest thing about the White House is certainly the history of the building, much more than the beauty of the decor.  It is nice inside but just thinking about what went on in all of these rooms is incredible.  The room we did the filming of the video in was the strategic meeting room where President Eisenhower planned the D-Day invasion.  Wow, Amazing huh!!!

My favorite part of the tour was when I stood and got my picture behind the podium in the news conference room.  There have been a lot of important speeches that have been given there and I was at the same spot...


7 comments:

Sharon McCully said...

Wow, what an amazing experience! I would just be in awe the entire time. I love history and old buildings, just thinking about all of the things that went on inside them - and even more so, the people. ...Getting to meet the President was cool too, I'm sure!! ;)

Garrett said...

It was definitely awesome to be in the White House. I too love the history that I was surrounded by. Meeting the President was cool because it is also of huge historical significance!

Nicole said...

Where can you see the video?

Molly said...

it was great to see you and all the athletes at the event garrett! as a member of the press, i got a chance to get out of the office for a little while so i could attend the ceremony. i've met and seen many a politician in washington, but meeting sean, michael and you was much more of a highlight! congratulations!

Garrett said...

You can see the video on the White House's website closer to the holidays.

Molly: I'm so happy you were able to get out of the office. It was wonderful being there and I thank you so much for all the support!

Coach Ky said...

What is Mr. Phelps whispering in your ear? and was it something funny?

Garrett said...

haha I don't even remember what he was saying to me. Michael is always saying funny stuff, sometimes not at the most appropriate times i.e. when the President of the United States is speaking!


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