President Trump Monday awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods at the White House. Tiger was emotional as he accepted the award in front of his family and girlfriend. He also choked back tears as he spoke about his late father.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award in the United States. It is given to people who make an especially great contribution to American society. Trump had announced Woods would be receiving the award after Tiger won the 2019 Masters.
Trump praised Woods‘ many accomplishments on the golf course and his ability to come back from debilitating physical adversity that might have permanently sidelined any other athlete. “Tiger Woods is a global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive. These qualities embody the American spirit of pushing boundaries, defying limits and always striving for greatness.”
With his mother and two children in attendance, Woods thanked his family, friends and aides in brief and emotional remarks. “You’ve seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, and I would not be in this position without all of your help.”
Being friends with President Trump has been tricky for some athletes. Tiger Woods has emphasised that his friendship with Trump goes back to before the 2016 presidential election. “We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency.”
Asked how he felt about Trump’s immigration policy, he drew a line between the office and its occupant.
“He’s the president of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”That discretion earned praise from Trump. He tweeted: “The Fake News Media worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say. Tiger wouldn’t play the game – he is very smart. More importantly, he is playing great golf again!”