Although Annika Sorenstam said that Jan. 6 was "a dark day in American history," the Golf Hall of Famer on Tuesday did not say she regretted her decision to attend and accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump just one day after the violence at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
"Looking back, I don't second-guess,'' Sorenstam told Golf Channel in her first appearance since accepting the medal on Jan. 7. "I look forward, not spend energy on what could have been. It's all about opening doors. That's the one thing I've learned. I've heard from a lot of people, you can imagine -- a lot of opinions, a lot of comments. I hear clearly what those people say. I know they see it differently. But I listen and embrace them all."
Since the ceremony, which was conducted privately and without media in attendance, Sorenstam, 50, has neither used her Twitter account nor posted any photos. Her husband, Mike McGee, deleted his account in the aftermath.
The Jan. 6 riots by pro-Trump supporters in protest of the election certification of President-elect Joe Biden resulted in the deaths of five people, including a U.S. Capitol police officer. Dozens of people have since been arrested.
Sorenstam had originally been scheduled to accept the award -- along with another Hall of Famer, Gary Player, and, posthumously, Babe Didrikson Zaharias -- in March, but the event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. She said she arrived in Washington, D.C. on the night of Jan. 6.
"Well, I'm not one to second-guess,'' Sorenstam said. "It was supposed to be in March 2020, and looking back at it, it's just really about the people who have received it through history. I don't want to spend any energy looking back. I like to spend energy looking forward, continue to open doors, create opportunities for the young girls around the world."
A native of Sweden, Sorenstam is now a U.S. citizen who retired in 2008 after winning 72 LPGA Tour events, including 10 major championships. Over the years, she has been a frequent golf partner of Trump.
Sorenstam, who will be competing in the celebrity division at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. She also was recently elected president of the International Golf Federation, which oversees golf in the Olympics, among other things.
The Olympics are scheduled for this summer in Tokyo.