Saturday, June 11, 2016

Bill Clinton Recalls Muhammad Ali's 'Final Steps' to Light the Olympic Cauldron in 1996

Former President Bill Clinton gave the last eulogy at Muhammad Ali's interfaith memorial service at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, today, reflecting on the athlete's struggle to light the Olympic cauldron in 1996 in Atlanta, kicking off the summer games.

Clinton, who was president at the time, said he would "never forget" witnessing the boxer he used to watch as a boy take the final steps toward the cauldron.

"I was weeping like a baby seeing his hands shake," Clinton said. "No matter what it took, the flame would be lit. The fight would be won. I knew it would happen."

Clinton began his eulogy with a joke that he was guaranteed a standing ovation, which he eventually received, by being the last to speak. He then thanked Ali's wife, Lonnie Ali, and their family for informing him that he was handpicked by the boxer himself to speak at the memorial service.

The former president said Ali refused to become a victim and "decided very young to write his own life story." Clinton also recalled how smart Ali was, adding that he never got credit for his intelligence.

Poetry was read by Attallah Shabazz, Malcolm X's eldest daughter, while Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama, gave a statement. Other guests of note included Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Abdullah II of Jordan. - Read More at the Abcnews

Bill Clinton Recalls Ali Lighting Olympic Cauldron in 1996
Billy Crystal Shares Touching Stories of 42-Year Friendship With Ali

Farewell to 'The Greatest': Thousands Celebrate Ali's Life - More


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