Jim Ryun was ranked the greatest high school athlete of all time by ESPN. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated seven times before the age of 25. He has an Olympic silver medal.
On Friday, the athlete-turned-politician added to his list of accolades with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Ryun, who served as a representative from Kansas between November 1996 and January 2007, was awarded the medal in a White House ceremony. No masks were worn by speakers, which included Ryun, his children Catharine and Ned, and President Donald Trump. The ceremony was also streamed live to the public.
“Jim has personified the greatness of this country throughout his life, whether he was running on a track race or whether he was doing anything he was, running an office or running for office,” Trump said in the ceremony. “He’s a giant of American athletics, a dedicated public servant and a man of charity, generosity and faith,” the President said.