The Swiss Government is honouring its countryâ€™s most famous athlete, Roger Federer with his own public holiday. In a statement read in the Swiss Parliament today, President of the Swiss Confederation, Doris Leuthard said:
â€śRoger Federer will go down as one of the greatest athletes ever. His passion for the sport of tennis, his commitment to the game, his longevity and his resilience is a testament to the type of athlete that he is. He has a never say die mentality and the way he just keeps going in spite of the odds going against him can serve as an inspiration to all Swiss nationals. He has his ups and downs like all athletes, but he always seems to find a way back. And that is what we love about our loyal son of the soil. Even at the ripe old age of 35 he has shown this year that he still has what it takes to win a Grand Slam. Even after a four and a half year Grand Slam drought when he was struggling with his form and with the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who threatened to steal his thunder, even with his six-month knee injury set-back last year, Roger always believed in himself and today his name is forever etched in the annals of sporting history. His record-extending 18th Grand Slam triumph in Melbourne this year at the Australian Open when he defeated his old nemesis Rafael Nadal will go down as among his most memorable wins and all of Switzerland rejoiced when he finally ended his Grand Slam drought.â€ť
Ms. Leuthard continued:
â€śThere are not many tennis players who can achieve what Roger has achieved. Even other legends in the sport like Americans Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi couldn't do what Roger has done. Roger has won all four Grand Slams. Pete Sampras has never done that because the French Open always eluded him and although Agassi has won all four, he definitely lacked the strangle-hold that Federer has had on the game. It is because of Roger that the Swiss people finally started to become interested in tennis again after all the problems which surrounded Martina Hingis regarding her frequent losses to the Williams sisters and to a lesser extent Jennifer Capriati. In addition to which, her suspension for cocaine use really left the Swiss public disappointed."
â€śBut Roger is something extra-special. Always clean, always classy in winning and losing. Never afraid to show his emotions and most of all he is a true professional. So it is with great pleasure that I Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation, hence forth declare August 8th, the birthday of Roger Federer - the Legend, a public holiday for all of Switzerland to celebrate and honour our greatest athlete."
As she made the announcement, the whole Parliament rose to its feet in a rapturous applause which was followed by a lusty rendition of the Swiss national anthem.