The tourism industry in Louisville is down but not out. As Louisville’s Muhammad Ali once said: ‘You don’t lose if you get knocked down, you lose if you stay down,’ and we don’t intend to stay down. – Karen Williams, Louisville Tourism on the Greatest Kentuckian
They all tried but not one succeeded.
And on the eve of the fifth anniversary of Muhammad Ali’s death, his cri de coeur is as loud now as when he first called us to arms.
There was an outpouring of affection and reflection from around the world on June 3, 2016.
When our hero lost the hardest fight of his life and nobly slipped away.
The Greatest Featival
But, of course, Ali is still with us all and nowhere more so than in his home town of Louisville in Kentucky in America’s Deep South.
Where the annual Muhammad Ali Festival, which will run from June 3-13, will be expanded this year.
it will focus on unity, justice and a rebirth of Louisville.
That’ll be Louisville then
The festival will kick off on June 4 with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards and it will conclude with the Derby City Jazz Festival.
Past winners of the awards include many worthy winners from the general public who have done extraordinary things.
As well as celebrity philanthropists such as Christina Aguilera, President Jimmy Carter, Susan Sarandon, Harry Belafonte, Ashley Judd and Michael J. Fox.
That unmistakable silhouette
The Muhammad Ali Center presents a 14-minute film ‘If You Can Dream’ of Ali’s life.
While Pavilions focuses on his six core principles… confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect and spirituality.
Of course the greatest thrill any Ali fan could experience would be to shadow box The Greatest.
The stolen bicycle
And by the wonders of modern technology you can do just that at the Ali Center.
Imagine training too with Ali at his recreated Deer Lake, Pennsylvania camp.
You can watch replays too with him of some of his most famous fights.
Wall of fame
And his lighting the Olympic Torch in Atlanta at the 1996 Games.
If you feel that Ali is right there with you it’s probably because he helped oversee the project.
While our friends at Kentucky Tourism with whom we spent the afternoon tell us that Rahman Ali, Muhammad’s brother is often at the Center too.
At the house of the King
And while Graceland has become a pilgrimage for music fans.
Every sports nut, and even those who aren’t, should pay homage to Ali in his hometown of Louisville, the Greatest Kentuckian.