Throughout my experience at the Muhammad Ali Center, in Louisville, Kentucky, I learned that “champions are made from something they have deep inside them a desire, a dream, a vision,” Muhammad Ali, The Greatest: My Own Story. At a young age Cassius Clay decided that one day his name would be in lights as other professionals’ names are displayed. Later in life, Cassius embarked on a spiritual journey to find himself after converting to Islam and climbing the ranks of professional boxers. He trained constantly and ruthlessly. He fought for and represented “a country in which he couldn’t even order a hamburger where he wanted,” Howard Bingham 2000 Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight: Cassius Clay vs. The United States of America. In one quote he said, “For many years I have dreamed of creating a place to share, teach, and inspire people to be their best and to pursue their dreams.”
Confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect, and spirituality were the principles that he wanted to instill in children and adults alike. Muhammad Ali’s six core values were the foundation for the Muhammad Ali Center. He co-founded the Muhammad Ali Center with his wife, Lonnie. Some of his other major accomplishments were that he was awarded with The Messenger of Peace, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Amnesty International’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Also, as an activist he brought medical supplies to citizens in Cuba and donated 22 million meals to “the world’s hungry”. Muhammad hosted Celebrity Fight Night in Phoenix, Arizona.
Specifically, for young adults, Muhammad established Generation Ali. “Inspired by the principles and the legacy of Muhammad Ali, Generation Ali represents a series of initiatives grounded in an interconnected social platform that encourages young people to find their personal “greatness” through service to others.”Muhammad wanted to teach people to find their voices and expel their “greatness within” to others. “Nobody ever said it was easy. Got to come up here, day after day, got to put out and some days nobody even looks at you ‘cept to say you’re doin’ something wrong,” Robert Lipsyte, 1967 The Contender. I encourage you to “be great and do great things” as well as work hard to prevent your dream from becoming deferred.