National Champion Men's Gymnastics Team Honored by President at White House
WASHINGTON, D.C.; June 18, 2007 The 2007 national champion Penn State men's gymnastics team was among several NCAA title-winning squads honored today by President George W. Bush in a special ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C.
"I appreciate the fact that you've endured tough practices, that you've set big goals, and you worked hard to achieve them. And so we congratulate your coaches, we congratulate your families -- but, most importantly, we congratulate you. We honor America's champs," said President Bush as he addressed the championship teams in attendance.
"You've distinguished yourselves on fields and fairways, tracks and tennis courts, rivers and rinks, pommel horses and pools, bowling alleys, mountains and basketball arenas. You have one thing in common: You have achieved the great title, "champion," and nobody can take that away from you."
The team was greeted by the President and presented him with gifts of a miniature statue of the Nittany Lion shrine and a Penn State hat. The Nittany Lions then posed for a team photo with the President. After the event was moved outside to the South Lawn of the White House, President Bush provided remarks to pay tribute to the accomplishments of the student-athletes.
"It was an incredible honor to be able to shake hands with the President and present him with a Nittany Lion statue on behalf of our team and the university," said head coach Randy Jepson. "It was also a great thrill to see our team members share the fruits of a special NCAA Championship moment."
The Penn State men's gymnastics team captured its NCAA-record 12th national championship on April 13, 2007 in front of its home fans at historic Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions, under the guidance of National Coach of the Year Randy Jepson, posted a season-high team score of 221.000 to gain the title, their third in the past eight seasons.