25 year anniversary of Ali lighting Olympic Caldron in Atlanta
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics kicking off today, the world will gather and watch its best athletes compete in a slew of summer events like basketball, swimming and new events like freestyle BMX.
But this week marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most iconic moments in Olympic, United States and the boxing world.
Earlier in the week, on July 19, it marked a quarter of a century since former boxing legend Muhammad Ali lite the Olympic torch at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta.
And at All In Autographs, we’re celebrating and honoring this incredible moment in sports history of Ali lighting the cauldron at the Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.
This with a signed picture of Ali lighting the torch and a replica of the torch used during those 1996 summer games to deliver the flame to Atlanta.
At the time, Ali was amid a 29-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. An illness that made the champ – who at times looked indestructible during his fighting career – look like a human. Vulnerable.
After he lit the torch to kick off those summer games in Georgia, Ali told the Washington post “God gave me this physical impairment to remind me that I’m not the greatest. He is.”
During the lighting, Ali’s left hand was visibly shaking. But by being at the center of the world for a few moments, Ali inspired many others suffering from Parkinson’s at the time to live their lives to the fullest and not be handicapped by the disease.
Parkinson’s causes tremors, slowness, problems with balance. Although at times its symptoms can not be considered fatal, victims can submit to complications such as swallowing that can lead times to choke.
But this wasn’t the first time that Ali had his hands on the torch. He carried the flame through his hometown of Louisville, Kent., aiding the flame to get the Los Angeles for the summer games in 1984.
According to 11Alive.com, Ambassador Andrew Young kept Ali’s lighting of the Olympic Caldron from the world.
He told the website he was flown into Atlanta the day of the opening ceremony and was tasked by the Atlanta Organizing Committee to disguise Ali and hope he wouldn’t be seen as his lighting of the cauldron was a surprise.
But Young wasn’t able to hide the champ. Ali was giddy, was shaking hands in downtown Atlanta, and even went as far as going to a barbershop to get a haircut.
To get the piece of American, boxing and Olympic history in the privacy of your own home or business, visit All In Autographs at 2225 Wyoming Blvd. NE in Albuquerque N.M. or visit our website and make your purchase online at allinautographs.com.