Trump Awards Medal of Freedom to Great Patriot, Legendary Athlete


President Donald Trump on Friday presented one of the nation’s highest civilian honors to Jim Ryun, a former Republican congressman and the first U.S. high schooler to run a 4-minute mile.

Ryun was the 1968 Olympic silver medalist in the 1,500-meter run and is a three-time Olympian.

Trump presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony at the White House, calling him a “legendary athlete and a legendary runner.”

“Jim has personified the greatness of our country throughout his life,” Trump said. “He’s a giant of American athletics.”

Ryun noted that he was cut from several athletic teams as a youth, including the church baseball team, but found his calling while running on the track team at Wichita East High School.

Watch: Tucker Carlson Says Election '100% Stolen' from Trump, Breaks Down How it Happened

His grueling training included running 100 miles a week, he recounted during the ceremony.

“I was made for running,” he said.

As a 17-year-old junior, he became the first high school athlete to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile when he ran it in 3 minutes and 59 seconds.

That year, he went on to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. He was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1966, the year he smashed the world record in the mile at 3:51.3.

He graced the cover of the magazine seven times — all before the age of 25.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is presented to those who make especially meritorious contributions to the nation.

Ryun went on to serve as a member of the House, representing a Kansas congressional district from 1996 to 2006.

Ryun said that one of the greatest honors of his life was to represent the country and “wear the stars and stripes on my chest while racing in the ’60s and ’70s.”

He went on to thank Trump for his “full-throated championing of this great country.”

Trump Reveals Conversation with Laken Riley's Parents: 'We're Not Gonna Forget Her'

[jwplayer vfqIPd8K]

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , ,
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City