Cassius Clay won a gold medal serving his country in the1960 Rome summer olympic games. Less than ten years later the same man, now known as Muhammed Ali, was willing to go to jail rather than serve his country.
Ali’s refusal to submit to induction into the U.S. military lead to the stripping of his heavyweigh title and being banned from boxing.
The one thing about Al that did not change during those years was his ability to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
From his return to the ring in 1970, to his retirement in 1981, Ali’s boxing prowess earned him the nickname, “The Greatest.”
Ali’s recorded a 56 win 5 loss record. Thirty-seven of those wins came by knocked out.
Documentary films have been made about two of Al’s most famous fights; ”The Rumble in the Jungle,” and “The Thrilla in Manilla.”
Ali’s ability as a showman helped bring in millions of dollars to the sport. Asked to explain how he defeated a young, stronger George Foreman during “the Rumble in the Jungle,” Ali said he used a technique called the “rope a dope.”
We all knew age would stop Ali from boxing, but few predicted Parkinson’s disease would send Ali’s verbal abilities down for the count. Despite the limitations placed on him by the degenerative brain disease, Ali has continued to stay active. Aii lite the Olympic torch at the 1996 Summer games in Atlanta.
Ali has helped serve 232 million meals worldwide. He has hand-delivered food and medical supplies to children in Asia, Africa and through North, South and Central Americas.
Ali is an official spokesman for the Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai, China.