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Remembering a Champion

By Julie Fink
Posted On Jun 06, 2016
Remembering a Champion

The world’s heart aches as we mourn the loss of famed athlete and world champion boxer, Muhammad Ali, who passed away on Friday night in a Phoenix-area hospital at the age of 74. His cause of death was a result of septic shock which caused an infection leading to organ failure. Because of Ali’s condition with Parkinson’s, he was in and out of hospitals over the years. But thankfully, he passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.

“He did not suffer,” a spokesperson for the family announced.

His daughter, Hana Ali, wrote that the children tried to stay strong. Some whispered in his ear. “You can go now. We will be okay. We love you. Thank you. You can go back to God now.”

After Ali’s organs failed, Hana tweeted that his heart continued to beat for another 30 minutes: “A true testament to the strength of his Spirit and Will!”

The family released this statement soon after his death:

“Muhammad Ali was truly the people’s champion and the celebration will reflect his devotion to people of all races, religions and backgrounds. Muhammad’s extraordinary boxing career only encompassed half of his life. The other half was committed to sharing a message of peace and inclusion with the world. Following his wishes, his funeral will reflect those principles, and be a celebration open to everyone.”

Muhammad Ali at Fundraiser
Muhammad Ali attends the 2014 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on Sept. 27, 2014 in Louisville, KY. Stephen J. Cohen / Getty Images

Muhammad Ali will be laid to rest in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky this Friday where former President Bill Clinton, longtime sportscaster Bryant Gumbel, and comedian and close friend Billy Crystal will be among those delivering eulogies.

Besides being the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, Ali was known for his crowd-stirring charisma and outspoken passion for humanity, faith, and his religion. Here are a few of his famous quotes that will carry the true spirit of champion through our hearts forever:

  1. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.
  1. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
  1. “Don’t count the days; make the days count.”
  1. “I should be a postage stamp. That’s the only way I’ll ever get licked.”
  1. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
  1. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
  1. “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
  1. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
  1. “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”
  1. “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

Muhammad Ali quotes