By Tom Degun at the Main Press Centre on the Olympic Park in London 

Barack Obama_with_Team_USA_shirt_Washington_July_16_2012August 31 - The United States President and First Lady will welcome the American Olympic and Paralympic athletes who competed at London 2012 to the White House for a special reception in their honour on September 14.

It will be the second such reception that Barack Obama (pictured top) has hosted after he invited the US Olympic and Paralympic athletes who competed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games two years ago.

The visit will be a celebration of the US returning to the top of the Olympic medals table at London 2012 having slipped to second behind China in Beijing four years ago.

The team won a total of 104 medals, including 46 gold.

The party will also further cement the close links that have been forged between the Obama Government and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

Michelle Obama led the Presidential delegation at the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony on July 27 and attended both the USOC Media Summit in Dallas in May and Paralympic-style Warrior Games in June, the latter organised by the USOC's Paralympic division.

The President and First Lady were also present at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Copenhagen in October 2009 to help Chicago lobby – ultimately unsuccessfully – for the 2016 Games, which was awarded to Rio.

Michelle Obama_31_AugustFirst Lady Michelle Obama bonds with the US basketball team during the London 2012 Olympics

The reception in a fortnight's time will coincide with the final stages of Obama's Presidential re-election battle with Republican opponent Mitt Romney, who visited the London 2012 Olympics.

Ironically, Romney has also attended a similar Olympic and Paralympic White House reception, following the Salt Lake City 2002 for which he served as President and chief executive, which was hosted by former President George Bush.

Whichever candidate is successful in the November 6 election is likely to play a key role in helping bring back the Olympic and Paralympic Games to America for the first time since those Winter Games with the USOC currently evaluating whether to bid for the 2024 Summer or 2026 Winter Games.

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