Michelle Yeoh Honoured as Pioneer by Biden with Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by US President Joe Biden for being the first Asian to win an Oscar as Best Actress in 2023.

Michelle Yeoh Honoured as Pioneer by Biden with Presidential Medal of Freedom
Michelle Yeoh Honoured as Pioneer by Biden with Presidential Medal of Freedom

A Historic Recognition

In presenting her with the medal on Friday (May 3), Biden said for decades Yeoh has “shattered stereotypes and glass ceilings to enrich and enhance American culture.”

A total of 19 people were awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom at a ceremony held at the White House on Friday. Among them were Malaysian actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh, US swimmer Katy Lei, former US astronaut Ellen Ooa, and former US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi. The medal of freedom is presented annually by the US president to recognize individuals who made contributions to the national interest of the United States, world peace, and cultural endeavors.

Breaking Barriers and Inspiring Generations

Speaking about Yeoh’s contribution, Biden remarked, “Michelle Yeoh has shattered stereotypes and glass ceilings to enrich and enhance American culture. Her roles transcend gender, cultures, and languages, from martial arts to romantic comedies, to science fiction, to show us what we all have in common.” He further emphasized Yeoh’s groundbreaking achievement as the first Asian actor to win an Oscar as best actress, highlighting her ability to bridge cultures and inspire hearts.

Words of Encouragement

Expressing his congratulations, President Biden expressed his hope for more success for Katy Lei, particularly in the upcoming Paris Olympic Games. Lei, who won her first Olympic gold at age 15, has amassed an impressive collection of 10 Olympic medals and 21 world championship titles. Biden lauded her resilience and determination, noting her ongoing participation in swimming competitions, including the upcoming Paralympic Games at age 27.

Looking Ahead

President Biden concluded by expressing his anticipation for welcoming Lei back to the White House with more medals from Team USA. The list of recipients also included key political allies and veterans, underscoring the diverse contributions honored by the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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