President Donald Trump today awarded the Medal of Freedom to golfer Tiger Woods, one of the best athletes in the country in recent times and whose president is an admirer.
“We are in front of a true legend, he is also a great person, there are no winners like you,” Trump said at the award ceremony of the nation’s highest civil honor in the White House, in which he reviewed the achievements of the race of the golfer.
For his part, Woods thanked Trump for the medal and said it was an “incredible” experience to receive this distinction, which he considered “an honor” that recognizes his entire professional career.
In this way, Woods became the fourth golfer in history to receive this recognition, after Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Charlie Sifford.
The first lady, Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and most of the members of the Trump Cabinet, as well as Republican and Democratic legislators, among others, attended the meeting.
The decoration, in agreement with the White House, serves to highlight the work of people who “have made especially meritorious contributions to the security of the national interests of the country, world peace, or with a significant cultural, public or private trajectory”.
The president has never hidden his admiration for Woods, with whom he plays golf with some assiduity, usually in clubs that are part of the Trump conglomerate.
This recognition comes just a few weeks after the former world number one and winner of 14 great conquered his fifth Augusta Masters, fourteen years after having done it for the last time, in 2005.
At 43 years of age and with several back operations to his credit, Woods roared again at the spectators summoned in Augusta and in front of the TVs of the whole world, recalling his victories of 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005.
However, the award that Woods received today has generated some controversy, since the golfer starred in an infidelity scandal in 2009 that caused him to retire for several years.
It is not the first time that Trump has awarded this medal, with which he had previously recognized figures of the stature of singer Elvis Presley and Supreme Court judge Antonin Scalia, in both cases posthumously, or Republican Senator Orrin Hatch.
Former President Barack Obama (2009-2017) handed out more than 120 Medals of Freedom, including Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman in the Supreme Court; artists like Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan, and athletes like Michael Jordan.
The award was created by President John F. Kennedy, who established the award of the Freedom Medals in 1963, the year in which he was murdered.