Billie Jean King Receives France’s Highest Civilian Honor On 50th Anniversary Of French Open Triumph

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Women’s tennis legend Billie Jean King received France’s highest civilian honor, the Legion of Honor, on Friday at Elysee Palace.

King, 78, received the honor for her contributions to women’s sports, gender equality and the rights of LGBTQ people in athletics, per the AP. She was awarded her medal by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The 12-time Grand Slam and 1972 French Open champion was present at this year’s tournament to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her win over Evonne Goolagong.

Paris, France – June 12, 1972: Billie Jean King holds the winner’s trophy after defeating Evonne Goolagong to win the 1972 French Open. (Photo by – / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

King helped start the Virginia Slims Tour for professional women players, which led to the creation of the Women’s Tennis Association in 1973, the organizing body for women’s professional tennis.

Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.

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