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I'm sure there's plenty who could argue that he was the greatest sportsman of he 20th century. I've never had a taste for boxing, but evenI acknowledge his huge stature as a kid growing up in the 70s. And, of course, his impact on the Olympics, in 1960 and 1996, is a significant part of the lore of the games.

Vale Ali. Love him or loathe him. Whether you consider him the Greatest or a pretender, he was certainly a giant of the sports world.

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Hmmmmm, M. I really find boxing distasteful. So I can't as a sports fan claim to ever revere him as a sportsman. But I simply can't deny his incredible stature as a popular cultural icon, certainly of my youth. I had mates that worshipped him, and I guess that despite my antipathy towards boxing, some of that rubbed off on me.

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So over-rated. I mean, what did he do? Beat up a few other guys?? I really don't understand the hullabaloo around him.

He could also beat guys up without laying a finger on them (unfortunately the interviewer really is named Parkinson):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnz77QSu2HA

Why?

If you have to ask, you've missed a major point about Muhammad Ali, or the London OC, or both.

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I'm too young to have memories of him as a boxer, but one of my earliest sporting memories is of him lighting the Atlanta cauldron, and my parents telling me who that vulnerable, weak looking man with the shaking hands was. That has stayed with me, and looking back it seems remarkable he lived another 20 years after that moment.

A sporting great. RIP.

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If you have to ask, you've missed a major point about Muhammad Ali, or the London OC, or both.

Pardon me for NOT seeing what connection he had with a 3rd time hosting for London. I really failed to see the connection. I just thought he was an over-rated bag of wind. Just being honest.

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Or for even more than 15 years. Basically, he was already very much stricken with his illness and barely a shadow of his former self 20 years ago in Atlanta and even earlier than that. It's sad that he had to live with that terrible illness for so long, but apparently he did what he always did before he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease: He made the most of his life - just like he had announced in this sort-of townhall meeting in the UK, approximately in 1977, when he was asked by a young boy what he plans to do after his retirement as a boxer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsDH9SXKZtI

He sure left a huge mark, not only as an athlete, but also as a great humanitarian and entertainer. And while tastes may differ, Baron, one might also acknowledge at least now, shortly after his passing, what he did in life outside the boxing ring and which suffers he had to endure for the last decades of his life.

For me, he sure was at least one of the greatest - most of all, a true giant of humanity.

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Pardon me for NOT seeing what connection he had with a 3rd time hosting for London. I really failed to see the connection. I just thought he was an over-rated bag of wind. Just being honest.

The connection was mortality.

RIP. Finally put out of his misery. He was basically in a vegetative state for about 15 years.

No he wasn't. His brain functioned much better than his body.

Or for even more than 15 years.

No, a vegetative state means lack of awareness, which was not Muhammad Ali's problem.

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I know Baron for a long time so I'm really not surprised at all for is reaction to Ali's death. So whatever :P

He was a very controversial person, I won't lie, but still a great sportman who took no crap from anyone, and refused to take part on an useless, stupid war back in the day which killed many. That's more than enough reason to remember him. May he rest in peace.

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I mean. BFD!, he won ONE Olympic medal (which, BTW, the braggart threw into the Tiber, anyway -- and the IOC replaced it). Now, someone like Al Oerter who won FOUR successive gold medals in13 years in the same sport, there's a GREAT Olympian!! Oerter also painted in his remaining years.

BTW, Ali was a draft-dodger in my book ...NOT a conscientious objector. And nothing but a showboating, LOOK-AT-ME loudmouth!!

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So over-rated. I mean, what did he do? Beat up a few other guys?? I really don't understand the hullabaloo around him.

Pretty much every television network out there who covered his passing in great detail yesterday and today disagrees with you. Jeez baron, we know you get off on being a contrarian, but at least acknowledge the guy's place in the world, even if you don't care for him

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Pretty much every television network out there who covered his passing in great detail yesterday and today disagrees with you. Jeez baron, we know you get off on being a contrarian, but at least acknowledge the guy's place in the world, even if you don't care for him

Why should I join the chorus if I don't feel that way? I just think he's getting more press and praise than he actually deserves. Why should I be dishonest with myself?

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Alright, maybe he only won one simple gold medal at the Olympics, but in non-olympic boxing he did much more. We shouldn't judge his achievements just for his Olympic performance only.

I do agree, however, that he was quite controversial. Didn't he made some remarks back in the day against racemixing?

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Why should I join the chorus if I don't feel that way? I just think he's getting more press and praise than he actually deserves. Why should I be dishonest with myself?

If you think he's over-rated and getting more praise than he deserves, that's understandable. Not asking you to like the guy. But for you to say "what did he do, beat up a few other guys?" and ask what the hullabaloo is.. that's ignorant. At least acknowledge his place in history, whether you think it's deserved or not, rather than to pretend like he's some sort of nobody who did nothing of consequence after winning a gold medal. I do find it interesting you bought up a track & field athlete given your complete and utter distaste for the sport :P

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I do find it interesting you bought up a track & field athlete given your complete and utter distaste for the sport :P

OK, I exaggerate my distaste for T&F. But there are many true great athletes there. What I dislike are the grand-standers like Ali and Bolt! Since they do their own puffing up of their feathers, then they surely don't need the likes of me. I really much prefer the humbler athletes, who wear their achievements with quiet dignity -- not Hey World, Look At Me, I Am the Greatest -- In Case you Haven't Noticed!! :wacko:

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Today, the world has lost not only the most influential sportsman it has ever known but one of its most influential men in any field of human endeavour. I think history teaches us that if you want to change things, you can't, and you won't, do it quietly. Muhammad Ali changed the world because his talent as a boxer gave him a platform through which he could express his political and social ideas, such as his opposition to the Vietnam War, that eventually came to be seen as sound even if they were thought of as highly radical in the beginning. By no means was all he did positive and a lot of what he directed towards Joe Frazier in particular crossed a line of decency. But, if we were to tally his positive and negative contributions to the world over his 74 years within it, I don't think there's any question that the former significantly outweighs the latter.

Like Rob, I'm too young to have seen Ali in his prime, but his lighting of the Olympic flame in Atlanta is, to me, an extraordinarily powerful illustration of the triumph of the human spirit. Perhaps it would have been easier for him to fade into obscurity as his illness became more apparent. But that would have been an easy option and the rest of his life showed those weren't options he took that often.

As a fighter, we will never truly know how good Ali might have been, because of the period he was disgracefully forced to spend in exile from the sport. But what we know is more than enough to understand just how special a competitor he was. In 1999, when he was voted Sports Personality of the Century by BBC Television viewers, he polled more votes the other nominees (George Best, Sir Donald Bradman, Jack Nicklaus, Jesse Owens and Pele) combined. I think that rather sums it up. Every man and woman who has earned their living from professional boxing in the last 50 years has reason to be thankful for the life of Muhammad Ali. But his wider contributions to society, and to the world, mean their debt is one that we all share and it is a debt that is unpayable. Farewell champ.

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