MIAMI (AFP) — Retired golf star Annika Sorenstam said Tuesday she was sad over the “dark day” of the US Capitol invasion despite controversially accepting a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Donald Trump.
The 50-year-old Swedish star won 10 major titles and 72 events overall during an epic LPGA career that ended in 2008 and plays this week as a celebrity in the LPGA season-opening Tournament of Champions in Florida.
In interviews with The Golf Channel and Golfweek, Sorenstam said she had no regrets about receiving the award from Trump on 7 January, a day after he spoke to protesters who became an insurrection force by breaking into the US Capitol in what she told Golf Channel was “a dark day in American history.”
“Looking back, I don’t second-guess. I like to look forward, not spend energy on what could have been,” Sorenstam said.
“It’s all about opening doors. That’s one thing I’ve learned.
“I’ve heard from a lot of people — you can imagine, a lot of opinions, a lot of comments. I hear clearly what those people say. I know they see it differently. But I listen and I embrace them all.”
Hours after the nightmarish scene in which five people died, Sorenstam and South African legend Gary Player accepted the award and Babe Didrikson Zaharias was honored posthumously in a White House ceremony with golf-fan Trump that was closed to the media.
“Listen, I share the sadness and the fear with everyone, what happened at the Capitol, but I’m not one to look back,” Sorenstam told Golfweek.