WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — On Monday, President Donald Trump presented golfer Tiger Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. President Trump praised Woods as an icon for his achievements on the golf course.
“An extraordinary athlete who has transformed golf and achieved new levels of dominance,” said President Trump.
Woods broke golf records on his way to winning 15 major championships. He also broke down racial barriers in the sport.
“Tiger introduced countless new people to the sport of golf from every background and every walk of life,” President Trump said.
Back problems and personal issues once threatened to end Tiger’s career. But the golfer turned his setbacks into one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.
“I’ve battled, I’ve tried to hang in there,” said Woods.
President Trump congratulated Tiger for winning this year’s Masters and awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Woods thanked his family for their support.
“My dad’s no longer here, but my mom is here. I love you mom, thank you,” Woods said.
The honor recognizes individuals who made outstanding contributions to American life, history and culture. President Trump said the positive influence of Tiger Woods transcends sports and embodies the American spirit
“Tiger Woods is a global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive,” Trump said.
Woods is the fourth golfer and 33rd sports figure to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He joined an elite group of athletes, including baseball’s Babe Ruth, NBA superstar Micheal Jordan and women’s tennis champion Billie Jean King.
“You’ve seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows. I wouldn’t be in this position without all of you,” Woods said.