By ANN COMPTON and MARY BRUCE
AKRON, Ohio — From Air Force One this morning, President Obama phoned the Fab Five in London to congratulate the gold medal-winning women’s gymnastics team on their success.
The president, on his way to the battleground state of Ohio for campaign events, spoke one by one with each member of the team, lauding their individual performances and their strength as a team.
“These gymnastics folks, I don’t understand how they do what they do,” the president told the crowd in Mansfield, Ohio, at his first campaign stop of the day. “I told these young ladies, as I was congratulating them, how do you not bust your head every time you’re on those — that little balance beam? I couldn’t walk across that balance beam.”
The president, who watched the Tuesday night replays of their competition, told the crowd of roughly 2,000 supporters “we could not be prouder of them.”
Jordyn Wieber, the reigning world all-around champion, later tweeted “Just talked to the President on the phone! Pretty much the coolest thing ever!! @BarackObama #ProudAmerican.”
The president told Wieber, who missed the cut for the individual all-around competition after a disappointing performance in the qualifications, that he was impressed with how she bounced back and led the team.
Obama also watched swimmer Michael Phelps’ record-smashing win of his 19th career Olympic medal and a Twitter exchange ensued.
“Congrats to Michael Phelps for breaking the all-time Olympic medal record. You’ve made your country proud,” the president personally posted on his twitter feed.
“Thank you Mr. President!! It’s an honor representing the #USA !! The best country in the world!!” Phelps tweeted in response.
The president later revealed at his campaign stop in Akron that he had called Phelps to personally congratulate him as well.