Muhammad Ali was a great. He was a great many things: a great boxer, a great man of religion, a great giver, a great teacher, a great objector--we could go on.
He got his start in his hometown of Louisville, KY as a young boy of twelve years old. His red bike was stolen and a Louisville Police Officer by the name of Joe E. Martin suggested he start boxing to learn and defend himself. The rest is history.
He went on to win Olympic gold, Heavy-Weight Championships, and many others, while boxing here in the United States, Canada, and abroad in Europe and Asia. He had a total of 61 fights, with 56 wins and only 5 loses.
Even after all these great wins and being known as one of the greatest sports figures in the last 100 years, Ali is further remembered for his philanthropy. He took part in raising funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Arizona, he supported the Special Olympics and Make-A-Wish Foundation, and he was chosen to be a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 1998.
In 2005, Ali received the Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, and in the same year, he opened the Muhammad Ali Center in his home town of Louisville, KY.
“I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given,” he said. “Many fans wanted to build a museum to acknowledge my achievements. I wanted more than a building to house my memorabilia. I wanted a place that would inspire people to be the best that they could be at whatever they chose to do, and to encourage them to be respectful of one another.”
We think that says enough about the man Ali was in life. He was a leader. He was a shaker—and he very well might have been the greatest man of our time.
At Louisville Bicycle Tours, we remember Muhammad Ali for everything that he was. We will lead our tours through his hometown and ours, with our heads raised a little bit higher.