President Obama urged Americans to unify as as a "nation of immigrants" just as the country deploys its top athletes to compete in the Summer Olympics in the midst of a turbulent election year.
"In a season of intense politics, let's cherish this opportunity to come together around one flag," Obama said in his weekly address Saturday. "In a time of challenge around the world, let's appreciate the peaceful competition and sportsmanship we'll see, the hugs and high-fives and the empathy and understanding between rivals who know we share a common humanity."
Obama pointed at Team USA as an example of why America is different than others because it is a nation of immigrants that finds its strength in its diversity and unity.
The hundreds of U.S. athletes competing in the Rio de Janeiro games hail from 46 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. The team is also comprised of the most women to ever be on any Olympic team.
"When you watch these Games, remember that it's about so much more than the moments going by in a flash. It's about the character it takes to train your heart out, even when no one's watching. Just hard work, focus and a dream. That's the Olympic spirit — and it's the American spirit, too," Obama said.
The president also saluted athletes from the first-ever Olympic Refugee Team, including competitors from the Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Syria, as well as the ParaOlympic Team.
"Let's honor the courage it takes, not only to cross the finish line first, but merely to stand in the starting blocks. And let's see in ourselves the example they set — proving that no matter where you're from, with determination and discipline, there's nothing you can't achieve," the president finished.