The Zac Brown Band sang the national anthem at the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night, as President Donald Trump stood nearby on the field at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Here’s that performance, including Trump’s entrance to the playing field through a tunnel:
Here’s Trump on the field:
Carly Ortega, a 12-year-old from Gwinnett County, Georgia, performed the anthem in sign language as the band was singing it alongside her. Ortega was born deaf, and she recently lost her mother after a battle with cancer. She signed the anthem in her mom’s memory and did it in front of millions of people watching on ESPN.
WSB-TV in Atlanta spoke with Ortega beforehand:
“I’m going to be nervous and pretty scared,” Ortega said.
Administrators at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf were asked by game officials for a student. They said they had the perfect one, who just lost her mom to a long battle with cancer.
Daniella Osborn-King died just two days before Georgia won their spot in the playoff, winning the SEC championship game in Atlanta.
“My house is full of UGA stuff, blankets, pictures, all kinds of stuff,” Ortega said.
The ultimate UGA fan, with a pet bulldog, American not English and named Nike not Uga, Daniella was even honored at her funeral when hundreds wore Georgia gear, creating a sea of red and black.
“I want to do that in memory of my mom,” Ortega said.
Picked to perform before the Rose Bowl, when Georgia won and moved on to the title game – that made Ortega’s performance all that more special.
“Oh, my mom’s always there,” Ortega said.
That’s a great tribute.