Cubs White House visit first championship celebration attended by first lady
President Barack Obama, in his last week in office, welcomed World Series winners the Chicago Cubs to the White House on Monday in the first visit from a championship sports team attended by first lady Michelle Obama in his eight years in power.
The Cubs' visit was the last official White House event of Obama's two-term presidency, ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday.
"They said this day would never come," said Obama. "Here is something none of my predecessors ever got a chance to say: Welcome to the White House, World Series champion Chicago Cubs."
Obama's affinity for Chicago's other MLB team, the White Sox, is well known, but the Cubs' title was far more significant to others close to him, including his wife.
"It is no secret that a certain South Side team has my loyalty," he said. "So I can't claim that I had the same visceral joy of some in this White House. But FLOTUS [First lady of the US] is a lifelong Cubs fan."
Obama continued: "I told the team this: In the eight years I've been here, we've hosted at least 50 teams - football, basketball, baseball, soccer, you name it. Michele has never come to a single event celebrating a champion until today.
"She came and shook hands with every one of these members of the Cubs organisation and told a story about what it meant for her to be able to see them win, because she remembers coming home from school and her dad would be watching the Cubs game and the bond and the family and the meaning the Cubs had for her in terms of connecting with her father.
"I almost choked up listening to it, and it spoke to how people feel about this organisation."