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Palmer awarded Congressional Gold Medal

At the age of 83-years-old, Arnold Palmer joined the pantheon of sporting greats including Roberto Clemente, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owns Joe Lewis and Byron Nelson by becoming the six athlete to receive the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal on Wednesday.

America's highest civilian award, Palmer was bestowed the medal by congress in "recognition of his service to the country in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship".

The acclaim in which Palmer is held meant that the the currently warring factions in government came together to honor him, a fact the octogenarian acknowledged.

"I'm particularly proud of anything that the House and Senate agree on," Palmer said to laughter and applause from those gathered amongst a U.S. Capitol crowd.

"Palmer is an icon of American sports and a success in all of his endeavours - a humanitarian, a businessman, a philanthropist," said Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader.

Congress's top Republican, John Boehner, also paid tribute to the seven time major championship winner.

"Arnold Palmer democratized golf," Boehner said. "(He) made us think that we, too, could go out and play, made us think we could really do anything. All we had to do was go out and try."

One of Palmer's main rivals on the course was also in attendance.

Jack Nicklaus, another iconic name on the golf scene, said: "He's a golf icon to the world - a good friend to me."

But the final words went to the man himself who the hundreds in attendance had gathered to praise.

"I'm very humbled. Thank you."

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