THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 22, 1993
PRESIDENT PRESENTS MEDAL OF FREEDOM TO ASHE
(Washington, DC) President Clinton awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to tennis great Arthur Ashe at the National Sports Awards Ceremony at Constitution Hall Sunday night.
Presenting the medal to Ashe's widow, Jeanne, the President noted that Ashe, "battled his way to the top rung of international tennis -- and he did it with an inner strength and outward dignity that marked his game every bit as much as that dazzling crosscourt backhand."
Speaking earlier Sunday at the White House, the President called Ashe, "An extraordinary man who lived by the words, `Thou shalt not close a door behind you.'"
The National Sports Awards will be telecast tonight on NBC.
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