August 9, 2008
As leader of the free world George Bush has a lot on his mind, not least the charms of his female volleyball and softball teams.
The U.S. president is in China for the Olympic games and has been spending his time getting to know the American athletes a little better.
They seem to be getting along famously, with Bush giving one contender from the U.S. volleyball team a playful pat on the bottom.
Athens gold medallist Misty May-Treanor had laughingly bent over and offered Bush the chance to give her a spank on her rear - a jokey custom between players intended to offer encouragement.
The playful President instead tapped her on the small of the back. Misty did not seem intimidated by the President's attentions, soon coaxing him into joining the action.
She asked him if he would play a little 'pepper', a warm-up drill bumping the volleyball back and forth.
A somewhat unwilling Bush initially tried to steer clear, replying 'No, I'm a pretty good spectator
But after watching for a few minutes, he donned a sun visor and joined the fun.
Despite the distractions of his scantily clad teammates he played a rally of five, in which he hit two but missed the third try as the ball fell a little short.
Under the hot Beijing sun Bush soon worked up a sweat in his heavy blue cotton shirt and long chinos.
But there was no time to change as he rushed off to offer his backing to the U.S. Women's Softball Team. The former president is an big baseball fan who once co-owned the Texas Rangers Major League team.
Before going through their stretches and take some batting swings, the team huddled around the president. 'Who do we play for?' Bush quietly asked the group after being prompted by the coach. 'USA!' the players shouted in return.
This is the last year in the Olympics for softball, which was added to the games programme in 1996 in Atlanta. Asked by a reporter whether the sport should be allowed back into the Olympic Games, Bush said: 'It should be.It's good for the world to have girls playing softball, and these women are going to show young girls how to win,' he added.
An exhausted Bush then headed off to join his wife and daughter Laura to watch the U.S. women's basketball game against the Czech Republic