President Trump Presents Tiger Woods With the Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Trump presented Tiger Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden on Monday.

“We are in the presence of a true legend, an extraordinary athlete who has transformed golf and achieved new levels of dominance,” Trump said in an address where he gave an overview of Woods’ long career before presenting the medal. “Tiger Woods is a global symbol of American excellence, devotion and drive.”

The iconic golfer received the presidential honor following his win of the 2019 Masters tournament in April. Trump said he congratulated Woods by phone after his Masters victory and that he’d present him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a tweet last month.

In a short speech after receiving the medal, an emotional Woods thanked his family for their support and described his happiness at his recent wins.

“The amazing Masters experience I just had a few weeks ago certainly is part of the highlights of what I’ve accomplished so far in my life on the golf course,” he said.

Trump and Woods have a relationship that goes back several years. Trump said in 2014 that Woods was set to design a golf course in Dubai as part of a Trump Organization project, The New York Times reports. And Woods has supported Trump by appearing alongside him at the opening of the Tiger Woods Villa at the Trump National Doral Miami in 2014.

Their friendship also extends on to the golf course. Woods, who has played golf with other former Presidents, has played with Trump multiple times since the President took over office, including earlier this year and in November 2017.

On Twitter, the President has been consistently supportive of Woods. After Woods won the 2019 Masters, Trump lauded the golfer’s “fantastic life comeback.”

In a 2018 news conference after tying at the Northern Trust, Woods deflected questions about his relationship with Trump, saying “you have to respect the office,” and acknowledging that he’s known the President for years.

Sports – TIME

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President Trump to Present Tiger Woods With Presidential Medal of Freedom

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump says he will present Tiger Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Woods won his fifth Masters title Sunday, overcoming personal and professional adversity to once more claim the green jacket.

Trump tweeted Monday that he spoke to Woods and congratulated him on “the great victory” and “to inform him that because of his incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE, I will be presenting him with the PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM!”

Trump didn’t say when a ceremony will be held. The medal is the nation’s highest honor for a civilian.

The president is an avid golfer who played a round with Woods at Trump’s golf club in Jupiter, Florida, in February. He watched the Masters from his Virginia golf club on Sunday.

Sports – TIME

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Five Days After a Crash, Lindsey Vonn Wins Bronze Medal in Final Race of Her Career

(ARE, Sweden) — Lindsey Vonn walked off with her career haul of medals in her right hand, the gold, silver and bronze clinking together almost weighing her down.

Or was it the bulging knee braces and metal support rods inside her vast array of broken bones?

Whatever it was, the sound was a reminder of what Vonn has come to symbolize — an athlete who battled back from one major injury after another throughout her career to win more ski races than any other woman.

Add one more — final — comeback to the list.

Five days after crashing in super-G — a fall that knocked the wind out of her and left her with a black eye and a bruised rib — and three months after tearing a ligament in her left knee, Vonn won the bronze medal in the world championship downhill Sunday in the final race of her career.

She’s shed so many tears that there are none left — just like she no longer has any cartilage in her knees.

“I’m literally tapped out, I can’t cry anymore,” Vonn said. “I want to cry but it’s dry. … It’s not an easy thing to feel your bones hitting together and continue to push through it.

“Of course I’m sore. Even before the crash I was sore. So I’m just sore on top of sore. My neck is killing me,” Vonn said. “But at the end of the day no one cares if my neck hurts; they only care if I win. … I knew that I was capable of pushing through the pain one last time and I did that. … Every athlete has their own obstacles and I faced mine head on today and I conquered them.”

Vonn had been planning on retiring in December but she recently moved up her plans due to persistent pain in both of her surgically repaired knees. Then came the super-G crash, when she straddled a gate in midair, flew face first down the mountain and slammed into the safety nets.

“She has been business as usual this whole week, saying I’m racing to win,” said Karin Kildow, Vonn’s sister. “I was like, ‘Just maybe make it down and maybe stand up.’ But she was like, ‘No, I’m going full out’. She was definitely in the mindset to push it and she really did.”

It’s a medal that brings Vonn full circle: the American’s two silvers at the 2007 worlds on the same course in Are were the first two major championship medals of her career.

“I was weighing in my mind the risk of putting it all out there, crashing and getting injured again, as opposed to finishing where I wanted to,” Vonn said. “It was an internal battle.”

As soon as she exited the finish area, Vonn embraced Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark, the only skier to win more World Cup races than she did — 86 to 82.

“I basically begged him to come here via text, in all caps, many exclamation points,” Vonn said. “He’s an icon and a legend in our sport and he doesn’t really like the spotlight but he deserves to have it. I was just so grateful that he was there. Honestly, it’s a perfect ending to my career.”

The third skier on the course, Vonn had a big smile on her face when she came down with the fastest run to that point. She waved and bowed to the crowd.

Eventually, Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia beat Vonn and took gold, defending her title from the 2017 worlds. Stuhec finished 0.23 seconds ahead of silver medalist Corinne Suter of Switzerland and 0.49 ahead of Vonn.

“Not many were counting on (Vonn) to get the medal in her last race, which makes it even more special,” Stuhec said. “She has won everything.”

Vonn became the first female skier to win medals at six different world championships. It’s also her fifth downhill medal at a worlds, matching the record established by Annemarie Moser-Proell and Christel Cranz.

“Thank You Lindsey: Forever A Star,” read one sign positioned by the side of the course.

Four U.S. flags were in the grandstand when Vonn came down and there were quite a few cheers when she started her run wearing a suit with blue-and-yellow trim — Sweden’s colors — to honor Stenmark.

“She really deserves this sendoff from her great career,” said Eleanor Bodin, a 21-year-old fan from Sweden who was holding up a sign saying “Thank You Lindsey.”

“She has been my favorite skier since 2008 when I saw her winning on television,” Bodin said. “I was a little girl sitting on the sofa. I just thought what a great skier and inspiration.”

At 34, Vonn eclipsed her own record from two years ago for oldest woman to win a medal at a worlds.

Fog and wind forced organizers to shorten the course to the second reserve start, which favored Vonn because it reduced the strain on her knees.

Now she can finally let her body heel and move onto the next phase of her life — possibly acting, having children, starting a business .

“I’m looking forward to just chilling out a bit and recovering everything, including my mind,” Vonn said. “It’s been a lot to process.

“The nice thing is that, in the real world I’m actually pretty young. I have felt really old for a long time, because I’m racing with girls that are like 15 years younger than me. So now, in the real world, I’m normal. Thirty is the new 20 so I’m super young. I’ve got a lot to look forward to.”

Sports – TIME

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