Annika Sorenstam Opens Up On Presidential Medal

The Swede has responded after controversy surrounding her receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump earlier this month

Annika Sorenstam Opens Up On Presidential Medal
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Swede has responded after controversy surrounding her receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump earlier this month

Annika Sorenstam Opens Up On Presidential Medal

Annika Sorenstam has spoken after receiving intense criticism for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom a day after the US Capitol Hill riots.

Sorenstam along withGary Player and the late Babe Zaharias received the medal from President Trump earlier this month, prompting a huge backlash on social media.

The Swede says she has heard lots of opinions and comments on her decision to receive the medal, which she says she has listened to and embraces.

However, she was not keen to express much opinion and instead said she wanted to "spend energy looking forward."

The legendary golfer was subject to huge abuse on social media, especially on a tweet, which has subsequently been deleted, from the Annika Foundation account.

"I have always viewed it in the context of the people through history who have received it," she told the Golf Channel's Steve Burkowski for the Golf Today programme.

"As you know it started in 1963 and it's quite the impressive list of people and individuals whether it's from science or art or entertainment and sports and it's really about the people who make this world a better place."

Sorenstam was asked about why she chose to receive the medal on the day after the violent riots, with the ceremony initially set for March 2020 before being postponed due to Covid-19.

"I'm not one to second guess and as you know it was supposed to be in March 2020 and looking back on it it's just really all about the people who have received it through history.

"So I don't want to spend any energy looking back, I like to spend energy looking forward, continue to open doors, create opportunities for the young girls around the world.

"I share the sadness and the fear with everyone. What happened at the Capitol, it's a dark day in America's history.

"Again, looking back I don't second guess and I like to look forward, not spend energy on what could have been.

"It's all about opening doors, that's one thing I've learnt. I've heard from a lot of people, you can imagine a lot of opinions, a lot of comments and I hear clearly what those people say.

"I know they see it differently but I listen and I embrace them all."

Watch the interview below:

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x