Sportsman of the Year


 

  H e talked about leaving the stadium in Kinshasa as the dawn was beginning to break. Hundreds of fans were still in the stands and the ring had all these people in it, squaring off and acting out how Foreman had gone down...Invariably fighters arrive at the arenas in the last afternoon or in the early evening leaving daylight, and after the night's activity they come into darkness. In the car Ali kept remarking on it. It seemed so symbolically appropriate that on this occasion he should be coming out of darkness into light.

Photograph by Tony Triolo
Text by George Plimpton

In 1974, Muhammad Ali regained the heavyweight title after being suspended from competition for more than two years for being a consciencious objector to the Vietnam War. He finally retired in 1981, after more than 10 title defenses, with a career record of 56 wins, 5 losses, and 37 KOs. In 1994, Sports Illustrated named him the most influential sports figure of the last 40 years. At 54, Ali is afflicted with Parkinson's Disease, but he made an appearance at the 1996 Olympic Games to light the torch at Opening Ceremonies.

 
Sportsmen of the Year:
1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963
1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974
1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
   

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