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George Bush learns some traditions of beach volleyball

August 9, 2008 |  2:23 pm

Misty May-Treanor bending over to allow President George Bush an opportunity to experience a unique element of beach volleyball at the Beijing Olympic games

Before taking in the spectacular and awe-inspiring opening ceremonies at the Bird's Nest, President Bush met with the U.S. men's basketball team, otherwise known as the Redeem Team.

Although it must have been a thrill for Mr. Bush to shake hands with Kobe, Mello, King James and Coach K, it's difficult to imagine that the president's trip to Beijing didn't peak when he received an up-close and personal beach volleyball lesson at Chaoyang Park from defending gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh.

As if things weren't hot enough for the president, who had just come off a sweaty mountain bike excursion, the AP reported that May-Treanor bent over to allow him an opportunity to experience a unique element of beach volleyball.

The president needs some work on his passing, mis-hitting a pair off his knuckles. When May-Treanor passed the ball back to him, he acted like he was going to dive after it but 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.

"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.

Bush smilingly gave a flick with the back of his hand to the small of her back instead.

According to the Countdown to Crawford blog, the trip to the park was "a break in a trip through Asia marked by public criticism of China's human rights policies, private huddles with advisors about the crisis in the former Soviet republic of Georgia over the breakaway South Ossetia region and a meeting Sunday with President Hu Jintao of China."

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: Gerald Herbert / Associated Press