The world mourned the loss of one of the biggest, most iconic figures in sports history with Muhammad Ali’s passing at the age of 74.
Ali was rushed to a hospital in Phoenix due to a respiratory ailment. The boxing legend’s daughter, Hana Ali, shared a story about his final moments. According to Hana, “all of his organs failed, but his HEART wouldn’t stop beating.” “No one had ever seen anything like it. A true testament to the strength of his Spirit and Will!” Hana said, as quoted by TIME.
Friends, family and fans across the globe have sent their condolences and prayers. Television networks, too, have scheduled several Muhammad Ali tributes in the coming days. Meanwhile, here are some of Muhammad Ali’s most memorable television appearances to honor the life of boxing’s greatest.
Muhammad Ali’s amazing speech about retirement
During a visit to the United Kingdom in 1977, Ali was asked what he was going to do after he retired from boxing. “Life is not really long,” Ali said. He then accounted for the amount of time a 30-year-old would spend on sleep, travel, school and watching television.
Ultimately, he broke it down to having “16 years to be productive.” “What’s the best thing I can do? Get ready to meet God,” he said.
100th anniversary of the Olympics
The People’s Champ surprised everyone when he appeared at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games where he lit the flame at the opening ceremony. At that time, Muhammad Ali was already diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, making his surprise participation all the more poignant. At that moment, Ali showed nothing but strength. His appearance, which was kept under wraps before the event, drew tears from the large crowd that held their breath as Ali lit the flame.
Ali and Frazier’s tussle on a live talk show
Ali and Frazier appeared in a talk show prior to their rematch in 1974. On the show, Ali provoked Frazier, forcing the latter to challenge him to a fight on air.
“This Is Your Life”
Despite years of animosity, Ali and Frazier’s long-term rivalry ended on good terms. In the television special, Frazier made a special appearance and the two hugged it out like good pals.
Ali on Diff’rent Strokes
Although he is a fierce fighter in the boxing ring, Ali’s appearance on the American sitcom Diff’rent Strokes showed his funny side. In Diff’rent Strokes Season 2, episode 7, Arnold (Gary Coleman) meets his hero, Ali.
Muhammad Ali on Oprah
Ali made a “rare appearance” on Oprah in 2000. Although visibly shaking due to Parkinson’s, he playfully threw punches at Will Smith who was promoting the movie “Ali.”
Ali’s interview with Michael Parkinson
Ali appeared on four episodes of Michael Parkinson’s British talk show. Paying tribute to the legendary sportsman, Parkinson called Ali a “man of great genius,” The Daily Mail reported. He first appeared in 1971, then in 1974, 1975, and 1981.
“He was not a man without flaws,” Parkinson said, “But if you wanted to concentrate on what was attractive about him I could talk forever.” He continued, “I could not believe how beautiful he was. He was an extraordinary looking man. He was graceful and all those things and, of course, he was funny as hell.”