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First lady Jill Biden participates in Olympics opening ceremony

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First lady Jill Biden is in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, attending the opening ceremony and meeting with other leaders from around the world as the head of the U.S. delegation.

The first lady's trip is continuing as planned, despite the dozens of COVID-19 cases linked to the games. On Friday morning local time, she spoke virtually to Team USA, lauding them for their accomplishments despite the pandemic.

U.S. first lady Jill Biden observes a moment of silence during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, July 23, 2021. / Credit: DYLAN MARTINEZ / REUTERS
U.S. first lady Jill Biden observes a moment of silence during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, July 23, 2021. / Credit: DYLAN MARTINEZ / REUTERS

"Becoming an Olympian is a rare accomplishment in a normal time. But you did it during a global pandemic," she told the athletes, adding that they are more than their cities, states, backgrounds, jobs or political parties. "We are Team USA," she said.

Mrs. Biden took part in the opening ceremony Friday morning, where more than 200 nations are competing in the games. She also met with Japanese Emperor Naruhito, French President Emmanuel Macron, Polish President Andrzej Duda and others at at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (C) and his wife Mariko Suga meet with first lady Jill Biden (L) at the Akasaka State Guest House in Tokyo on July 22, 2021 on the eve of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.  / Credit: STR/JAPAN POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (C) and his wife Mariko Suga meet with first lady Jill Biden (L) at the Akasaka State Guest House in Tokyo on July 22, 2021 on the eve of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. / Credit: STR/JAPAN POOL/AFP via Getty Images

On Saturday, the first lady will dedicate a room in the Chief of Mission Residence to Irene Hirano Inouye and Daniel K. Inouye. After that, she will host a U.S. vs. Mexico softball watch party at the U.S. Embassy in Japan for foreign service officers and their families.

The first lady wore a mask much of Friday, in keeping with the rules of the games.

According to U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee's medical director Jonathan Finnoff, roughly 83% of the 567 American athletes who filled out health histories said they had been vaccinated.

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