This new center documents Muhammad Ali's odyssey from then-segregated Louisville, Kentucky and his youth as Cassius Clay, to a Gold Medal at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome to his conversion from Christianity to Islam and to the pinnacle of the boxing world.
Through five floors and 93,000 square feet, the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville (which opened in November 2005) is no typical sports museum; it is equal parts elegance (the prominent atrium display of his Presidential Medal of Freedom) and kitsch (the equally prominent display of the bejeweled robe,a gift from Elvis Presley before a fight in Las Vegas.) It is pluck - his youthful boasting of how pretty he was - and pathos- his Parkinsons' wracked body painstakingly lighting the torchat the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. It is crass commercialization - his 1977 Rolls Royce Corniche - and the best of the human spirit- a collage by children from 141 countries in which they express their hopes and dreams.
Muhammad Ali Center Web Site