NEW YORK, Jan 17 (APP):In a tribute to the boxing legend, Muhammad Ali, the international airport in his hometown Louisville, a city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, has been renamed after him.
“Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown, and fortunately, that is our great city of Louisville,” Mayor Greg Fischer announced on the eve of Ali’s birthday on January 17.
“Muhammad became one of the most well-known people to ever walk the Earth and has left a legacy of humanitarianism and athleticism that has inspired billions of people,” the mayor added in a statement, celebrating achievements of Ali, who passed away on June 3, 2016.
Muhammad Ali also remains very popular in Pakistan, which he visited in 1998. Ali is seen as one of the greatest sportsmen ever and continues to be a huge inspiration for people around the world.
Since his rise to prominence as the world heavy weight champion in the 1960s and opposition to the Vietnam war, Ali remained a voice for peace and equality despite being down with Parkinson’s disease for several years. He lit up the flame for 1996 Olympic Games and former president, Bill Clinton, called him a universal soldier for common humanity.
“By choosing to rename the airport for Muhammad Ali, a world-renowned humanitarian honored as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and an athlete honored as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the 20th Century, we as a community are honoring his legacy and celebrating this global icon who is a fellow Louisvillian. This tells the world how proud we are to associate ‘The Greatest’ with not only our great city, but our great airport.” Muhammad Ali’s wife, Lonnie Ali said,
“I am proud that the Louisville Regional Airport Authority and the City of Louisville are supportive of changing the name of the Louisville International Airport to reflect Muhammad’s impact on the city and his love for his hometown. I am happy that visitors from far and wide who travel to Louisville will have another touch point to Muhammad and be reminded of his open and inclusive nature, which is reflective of our city. Muhammad was a global citizen, but he never forgot the city that gave him his start. It is a fitting testament to his legacy.”