WASHINGTON (KDKA) — Golf pro and Latrobe native Arnold Palmer achieved something today only five other athletes in history have achieved.
He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
Arnold Palmer’s flair for the dramatic introduced the elitist world of golf to a blue collar audience. With a wagonload of trophies, he now receives an honor like no other.
“I’m particularly proud of anything that the House and the Senate agree on,” he said at the Capitol Rotunda where he received his medal.
He is just the sixth athlete to receive the award. One of the six is Pirate great and humanitarian Roberto Clemente.
The gold medal is bestowed by Congress as its “highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.”
“I like to think and truly believe that golf and golfers promote some sort of human values that symbolize so many Americans,” Palmer said. “Such characteristics as honesty, hard work, dedication, responsibility, respect for the other guy, playing by the rules.”
It’s not the first honor to come out of Washington. President George W. Bush presented him with the Medal of Freedom in 2004. But, as always, the blue collar kid from Latrobe takes it all in stride.
“I am very humbled,” he said. “Thank you very much.”