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5 iconic Olympic moments of Muhammad Ali

Tanuj Kar
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Timeless

3) 1996 Summer Olympics – Atlanta

Muhammad Ali lights the flame during the opening ceremony for the 1996 Olympics as 4-time gold medalist Janet Evans looks on
 

No sports lover will ever forget the moment Ali lit the main cauldron to initiate the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta’s Olympic Stadium.

As the penultimate torchbearer, 4-time gold winning American swimmer Janet Evans passed on the flame to Ali’s torch, the amazed audience broke into a deafening cheer, for it marked the return of the champion after a long period away from the limelight.

In the moments that followed, the world watched in awe as the greatest boxer of all time, with his hands and head shaking heavily due to his medical condition, set ablaze the fire that would then keep burning throughout the entire span of the tournament.

Awarded a replacement gold medal for his 1960 Rome Olympics win

In Atlanta 1996, Muhammad Ali also received an honorary gold medal to replace the one he had won at the Rome Olympics in 1960 but had subsequently lost possession of. In his autobiography titled ‘The Greatest: My Own Story’, Ali has narrated how he was subjected to racial discrimination at a Louisville restaurant which refused him entry on the basis of his skin colour which angered him to the sheer extent of walking down to the Ohio River and tossing his medal into the water.

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