Giffords was given a standing ovation by the hundreds assembled as she entered the Space Center Houston in a wheelchair, according to ABC News. She rose to hug and kiss her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, after he received the Spaceflight Medal.
ABC’s Gina Sunseri, who was at the event, told “Good Morning American” that Giffords “did not look sick at all” and “was smiling [and] chatting with the people who were sitting next to her.”
“Personally, I was not surprised at all,” Giffords' spokesman C.J. Karamargin told CNN. “For us it is clear the congresswoman’s physical strength is improving as well as her cognitive and verbal abilities.”
Giffords was shot in the head at a meet-and-greet in Tucson Jan. 8., where six people were killed and more than 12 others wounded. She underwent rehabilitation at a Houston hospital and was released June 15, shortly after two photos of the smiling congresswoman were released on Facebook.
Her close friend, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said Giffords was “making remarkable progress” on “Meet the Press” June 12.