"This evening, we are in the presence of a true legend."
Tiger Woods received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Monday in front of his family and friends, in celebration of his victory at The Masters last month. During the special event, President Trump described Tiger as "a global symbol of American excellence, devotion, and drive."
"Tiger, we are inspired by everything you've become and attained," Trump said. "The job you've done is incredible. Your spectacular achievements on the golf course, your triumph over physical adversity and your relentless will to win, win, win; these qualities embody the American spirit of pushing boundaries, defying limits and always striving for greatness."
"This evening, we are in the presence of a true legend," Trump added. "An extraordinary athlete who has transformed golf and achieved new levels of dominances. He's also a great person. He's a great guy."
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In accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Woods thanked his family and friends for their support over the years.
"This has been an unbelievable experience and everyone here has seen and been with me for them, some of you for my entire life, and some of you for more than half my life," Woods said.
"You've seen the good and the bad, the highs and the lows and I would not be in this position without your help."
The Presidential Medal of Freedom (along with the Congressional Gold Medal) is the highest award that can be awarded to a civilian in the United States. The Medal "recognizes those individuals who have made 'an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.'"
Previous recipients include Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Diana Ross, Ellen DeGeneres and Robert De Niro. The only other golfers to receive the medal are Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Charlie Sifford.