President Joe Biden tripped and fell after handing out the last diploma at a graduation ceremony at the US air force academy on Thursday – but got up quickly and walked back to his seat.

The 80-year-old fell forward, caught himself with his hands, then got up on one knee helped by an air force officer and two members of his secret service detail.

After Mr Biden was back on his feet, he pointed behind him, seeming to indicate what he tripped over – a sandbag.

He walked back to his seat behind the podium unassisted, mingling with other officials, smiling and giving a “thumbs up” sign.

White House communications director, Ben LaBolt, said on Twitter that Mr Biden was fine. “There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands,” he added.

The fall came after Mr Biden addressed 900 cadets who will become second lieutenants in the air or space force at Falcon Stadium in Colorado.

President Joe Biden points to sandbags after falling on stage during the 2023 United States Air Force Academy Graduation Ceremony at Falcon Stadium, Thursday, June 1, 2023, at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Joe Biden points to sandbags after falling on stage during the 2023 US air force academy graduation ceremony (Photo: Andrew Harnick/AP)

“Graduates, you made a noble choice to lead a life of service,” Mr Biden said. “Now you also shoulder a great privilege and a mighty responsibility. Leadership, yes leadership.”

His speech covered how US efforts to rally Western nations behind Ukraine against Russia and the need to enhance deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region. He also expressed confidence that Sweden will become a Nato member.

Mr Biden, the oldest person to hold the Oval Office, is running for re-election in 2024.

Polls show Americans are concerned about anyone over 75 becoming president. His leading Republican opponent, Donald Trump, turns 77 this month.

Doctors declared Mr Biden healthy and fit for duty after a physical examination in February, noting the President does not drink alcohol or use tobacco and exercises “at least” five times a week.

Mr Biden fell as he was dismounting his bicycle last June after snaring a foot in a toe clip, but was uninjured.

By admin