From Sunlen Miller
Showing off an around-the-back layup on the basketball court and a tennis shot hit under one leg, President Obama demonstrated his sports skills while opening the day-long Easter Egg roll on the South lawn of the White House today.
“I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter. I hope everybody is having a great time here. Welcome to the White House,” Obama said with the First Family – and Easter Bunny — from the Truman Balcony.
The event will bring more than 30,000 people from all fifty states to the South Lawn of the White House today – to participate in yoga, obstacle courses, tennis, basketball, dancing, playing sports and of course the classic egg roll.
14,500 hard-boiled and dyed eggs used between the egg roll and the egg hunt. With a whistle in hand, the president counted down kids lined up to roll their eggs across the law with large wooden spoons– blowing the whistle to start them off.
A small girl in a frilly dress trailing behind the rest got some help by the president – who coached her as she slowly rolled her egg across the finish line. He gave a high-five to the winner but quickly declared afterwards that “everybody’s a winner.”
The First Family read two books to a small group of children – Mr. and Mrs. Obama read “Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom” which was Malia and Sasha’s favorite as children. The Obama girls read a favorite of Mr. Obama’s “Where the Wild Things Are.”
The event also put a focus on Mrs. Obama’s national obesity campaign – with a theme of “Get Up and Go” to get children to participate in physical activities.
“I’m a big proponent of getting up and going, making sure we’re moving and eating healthy, and this Easter Egg Roll reflects all of that,” Mrs. Obama said.
The president had a chance to demonstrate his sporting skills – dribbling a basketball between cones and then making a casual behind-the-back layup. On a mini tennis court he joked around with Chris Evert, showing off a bit by trying to hit a shot between his legs, around the back.
Mrs. Obama showed off some culinary skills – flipping a crepe in a pan in the “kid’s kitchen” with TV personality Kelly Ripa and Chef Jacques Pepin. The First Lady said that her youngest daughter, Sasha Obama’s favorite thing to do is to spend time in the kitchen.
“She’s got a real palette,” Mrs. Obama said, adding that she likes to not only eat but to cook, “she likes searing things. Using a blowtorch. She has seared tuna. That’s with our chefs at the White House. Not with me. I don’t sear.”
This is the 133rd year of the Easter Egg Roll. a White House tradition dating back to 1878 and President Rutherford B. Hayes.