News

Boston Marathon heroes, gay athlete among ‘State of the Union’ guests

Boston Marathon heroes, gay athlete among ‘State of the Union’ guests

STATE OF THE UNION: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a reception with U.S. mayors at the White House in Washington Jan. 23. Photo: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Heroes of the Boston Marathon bombing, a firefighter who led the rescue response to an Oklahoma tornado, and an openly gay basketball player will be among U.S. first lady Michelle Obama’s guests at the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

The White House uses Mrs. Obama’s seating area in the chamber of the House of Representatives during her husband’s annual speech to Congress to highlight people and issues that are important to her and the administration.

A Washington, D.C. teacher and the youngest intern at Intel Corp will also join the first lady, Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in the box on Tuesday, the White House said.

Below are the names and descriptions of the guests the White House has released so far:

1) Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman of Boston

Arredondo, wearing a white cowboy hat, was photographed helping a severely injured Bauman during last year’s bombing of the Boston Marathon. The picture became a hopeful symbol of the devastating attack. Bauman lost both of his legs. The two men have become close friends, the White House said.

2) Gary Bird, fire chief in Moore, Oklahoma

Bird led the rescue response to the tornado, which struck Moore, killing 25 people including children. “Fire Chief Gary Bird represents all of those who rallied together to help the community of Moore, Oklahoma – firefighters, police officers, teachers, neighbors – in its greatest time of need,” the White House said.

3) Jason Collins – basketball player

Veteran basketball player Jason Collins announced last year that he was gay. A 12-year player in the National Basketball Association, he became the first active athlete from any of the four major U.S. men’s professional sports leagues to come out publicly as gay.

4) Joey Hudy, 16, intern at Intel Corp

Hudy met President Obama when he was 14 at a White House science fair in 2012 and impressed him with his “extreme marshmallow cannon.” Now 16, he is the youngest intern at U.S. chip manufacturer Intel Corp.

5) Kathy Hollowell-Makle, a teacher in Washington, DC

Hollowell-Makle was the 2013 District of Columbia public school teacher of the year. “By the school year’s end, more than 90 percent of her students demonstrate early literacy at proficient or advanced levels and last year, more than 80 percent of her students advanced two or more reading levels,” the White House said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: July 30

Fresh
elvis

The Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Music

At $90 million, Garth Brooks tops country earners

garth

Brooks, 53, who resumed touring last year after 13 years off the road, also notched up the biggest pay day in a single year.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Vacation’ is a fun road trip for a new generation

18-overlay7

Rating: R | Run time: 99 min. | Genre: Comedy | Starring: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins…

in Music

Eric Church exhibit headed to Country Hall of Fame

12-overlay10

Visitors to Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will soon be able to walk through the life and career of Eric Church.

in Music

Miranda Lambert launches scholarship fund for women

mirandalambert

The country superstar is establishing a new scholarship at Nashville's Belmont University to help women pursue jobs in the entertainment industry.