Jack Nicklaus Awarded Medal From Congress

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The Golden Bear got a gold medal.

In a ceremony Tuesday held before leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., Jack Nicklaus was awarded the highest civilian honor the United States Congress can bestow – the Congressional Gold Medal.

“Few transcend their sport to achieve that kind of moment, or this kind of honor,” said House Speaker John Boehner, an avid golfer who grew emotional at times during the ceremony. “With Arnie (Palmer), it was how he brought an audience to the game — an army. With Jack, it’s how he gave the game a gold standard — a ladder to climb.”

Nicklaus recalled the hard work of his parents, praised his family and paid tribute to his wife, Barbara. He recalled that when his son Jack was six, he was asked what his father did for a living. The younger Nicklaus said, “Nothing, he just plays golf.”

An emotional Nicklaus told his family that his whole life he wanted to make them proud of him, and “hopefully I have.”