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Pat Summitt receives Presidential Medal of Freedom Award

Legendary Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt received the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award today at the White House. President Obama put the medal on Summitt himself. His comments about her:

President Obama’s introductory comments about Pat Summitt:

“When one doctor told Pat Summitt she suffered from dementia, she almost punched him. When a second doctor advised her to retire, she responded, ‘Do you know who you are dealing with here?’ Obviously they did not. As Pat says, ‘I can fix a tractor, mow hay, plow a field, chop tobacco, fire a barn and call the cows, but what I’m really known for is winning.’ In 38 years at Tennessee she racked up eight national championships, more than 1,000 wins. Understand, this is more than any college coach, male or female, in the history of the NCAA. And more importantly, every player that has gone through her program has either graduated or is on her way to a degree. That’s why anybody who feels sorry for Pat will find himself on the receiving end of that famous glare. Or she might punch you. She still is getting up every day and doing what she does best, which is teaching. The players, she says, are her best medicine.”

President Obama, reflecting on the impact Pat Summitt has made for women, including his daughters:

“When I think about my two daughters who are tall and gifted, knowing that [because of] folks like Coach Summitt, they are standing up straight and diving after loose balls and feeling confident and strong. Then I understand the impact that these people have had extends beyond me. It will continue for generations to come. What an extraordinary honor to be able to say thank you to them for the great work that they have done on behalf of this country and on behalf of the world.”


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