Roger Federer becomes the first living person to have his face minted on a Swiss coin
What's the story?
Roger Federer has received a unique honor from his home country of Switzerland, by being chosen as the first ever living person to be commemorated on a Swiss coin. Swissmint, the federal mint of Switzerland, intends to release 55,000 coins with Federer's face inscribed on them, starting from 3 December 2019.
In case you didn't know...
Federer is widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time, with some going further and suggesting he is the greatest sportsman of all time. Since winning his first Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2003, Federer has become one of the most beloved people on earth.
He is considered something of a national treasure in Switzerland, a country with a small population that has often been starved of champion athletes. In addition to making Switzerland a tennis powerhouse on the Grand Slam stage (he and compatriot Stan Wawrinka have won 23 Majors between them), Federer has also brought home two Olympics medals - a silver in singles and a gold in doubles.
The heart of the matter
Until now, no living person has ever featured on a Swiss franc. But Federer is no normal person, and this unique honour emphasizes what an important public figure he is for Switzerland.
He is undoubtedly their most famous citizen and it is tough to imagine that changing any time soon. As well as bringing tennis to a level of global popularity unseen before, Federer has also brought a level of attention to Switzerland that the nation has never had before.
Known more for its watches, chocolates and banks, it wasn't expected for a little nation tucked away in the Alps to produce a sportsperson of Federer's level. But it did exactly that, and this gesture is a fitting way to recognize the man's feats.
Federer will feature on a silver 20 Swiss Franc coin. An image of him hitting one of his legendary one-handed backhands is what Swissmint have chosen to use for the coin.
"Thank you Switzerland and Swissmint for this incredible honour and privilege," Federer said in response to the announcement.
Whilst this special edition coin is limited to just the 20 Swiss Franc at the moment, it has been reported that Swissmint are planning on releasing a gold 50 Swiss Franc coin featuring Federer in the new year.