Muhammad Ali's Hometown Louisville Airport Renamed In His Honour
The former heavyweight boxing champion won 56 of his 61 fights, captivating the masses both in and out of the ring. As such, it is only fitting that his hometown airport has been renamed in his honour.
Louisville International Airport confirmed the news on Twitter, with the airport's board voting to change the name to the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.
The city has been considering the name change for several years, after a petition was submitted to Mayor Greg Fischer and the airport board in 2016, according to Sports Illustrated.
Celebrating the announcement on Twitter, the mayor said the name change was part of a broader effort to celebrate Ali's 'deep ties' with the city.
Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown. Today's decision to change @flylouisville's name to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is a major piece of a broader effort to celebrate those deep ties. pic.twitter.com/mxXyX4pILl
- Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) January 16, 2019
Elaborating on the rationale behind the name change at a news conference, the mayor described Ali as 'one of the most well-known people to ever walk the Earth'.
According to Fox News, he said: "It is important that we, as a city, further champion the Champ's legacy, and the airport renaming is a wonderful next step.
"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 boxer, activist and philanthropist died in June 2016, following a long battle with Parkinson's disease, which he was diagnosed with in 1984. He left behind nine children and his fourth wife, Lonnie Ali.
The widow said naming the airport after Ali was a 'fitting testament to his legacy'.
According to the Detroit Free Press, she 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."
A fitting tribute to 'The Greatest'.
Featured Image Credit: PA