I was sad to wake up and hear the news that Muhammed Ali had died. He was a part of my childhood and such a big character that he was fascinating to watch on the many chat shows of the 1970s and 1980s. When I was watching the many news tributes that charted his life there was so much more to him than boxing.
He had a huge amount of self-confidence and knew his own mind and what he wanted to stand for. I hadn’t been aware of his stand against the Vietnam war and so many other ways that he touched people’s lives. There was so much work that he did and also that he supported to help others. Even when illness started to affect his life it didn’t stop him continuing that work.
Proclaiming he was the greatest was surely something that very few people would have had the strength and confidence to do. But he did it when he was so young. Muhammed Ali had a presence and a poetic approach to the build up to fights. There are so many quotes that will remain with us for many years. For one so young he was prepared to stand up and on some occasions stand alone. He had strong beliefs and lived by them despite the challenges it brought.
After the sad death of David Bowie around Christmas, I blogged about how Bowie had been prepared to be different and that is what made him have such a special place in society and now history. Muhammed Ali had the same. They were happy being themselves and it is something we should all try to be. We should be ourselves, and be the best version of ourselves that we can be.
Remember Muhammed Ali rose from a humble childhood and became, as he said, ‘the greatest’. Rest in peace.