Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh are the defending gold medalists in Beach Volleyball. Today President George W. Bush visited their practice at Chaoyang Park in Beijing and they managed to give him a few lessons in bumps, digs and attacks.

After the scary events of the morning, it was good to see President Bush today hanging out with American athletes at the Beijing Olympics and having some fun. Early this am, the president headed straight to the Laoshan Olympic mountain-biking course, passing Tiananmen Square along the way. The First Lady went on a tour of the Forbidden City.

As we all know, President Bush is a mountain bike freak and had been itching to get back to the course that he tried out with Chinese Olympic hopefuls in 2005 during his last visit to Beijing. He spent more than an hour on the course on a warm, muggy, hazy day, accompanied by secret service agents and aides of course. He dabbed at his face with a towel as he left, then called the course “really, really difficult. That’s why I’m an amateur and they’re Olympians.” After that he watch the Women’s Softball Team practice, taking pictures with the players and coaches.

And then the fun began…

Arriving at the practice site for Beach Volleyball, the President thought he would try his hand at the sport and what better players to help him along then the World and Olympic Champions Misty May and Kerry Walsh? President Bush made some attempts at passing, digging, and hitting. When May-Treanor passed the ball to him, he acted like he was going to dive after it but thought better of that and decided to stay on his feet.

Then May-Treanor turned her back to the president, offering her bikinied rear for one of the traditional slaps that volleyball players frequently give each other. You can see the picture of it in the “Photos” section.

“Mr. President, want to?” she asked, repeating an offer she made when Bush gave a pep talk to the U.S. athletes before Friday’s opening ceremonies.

Well I am sure he wanted to but as the son of a president, a husband of nearly 37 years, the father of two daughters, the subject of some attempted tabloid exposes and a seasoned political veteran who knows that every camera for a half-mile is trained on him, Bush wisely chose instead to brush his hand across the small of May-Treanor’s back.

“What an honor,” Walsh said. “He’s just a great sports fan and he exudes optimism and pride in his country. We know he’s proud of us.”

President Bush spent about 30 minutes visiting May-Treanor and Walsh before they played their first match. Afterwards, he again posed for pictures with the athletes and their coaches.

He has official business on his agenda for Sunday: meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other leaders of the country; attending church; and speaking about religious freedom. That as we all know is a sensitive matter in China, where the government allows worship only in officially approved churches.

I think we’re going to miss President Bush alot.


“May-Treanor, Walsh win 26th Title” Video