NEW DELHI: The Louisville International Airport will be undergoing a name change in honor of legendary sports figure and heavyweight boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali.
According to the Louisville Courier Journal reports on Wednesday, the decision arrived during a Louisville Regional Airport Authority Board meeting.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said billions of people around the world inspired with Ali’s boxing accolades as well as his openness about his conversion to the Muslim faith.
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“Muhammad … has left a legacy of humanitarianism and athleticism that has inspired billions of people,” Fischer said in a statement. “It important that we, as a city, further champion The Champ’s legacy, and the airport renaming is a wonderful next step.”
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
In 2016, a petition submitted to Fischer and the airport board calling for the airport to be named after Ali.
The petitioners noted that “Ali inspired people all over the world to come together and shed our differences. This is an opportunity to unite in Ali’s life mission. We humbly invite you to join our effort to rename our airport to Muhammad Ali International.”
Ali, labeled himself “The Greatest of All Time,” died in 2016 at 74 years old after a long battle with Parkinson’s syndrome in Scottsdale, Arizona. Time magazine once described boxer Ali as the “best-known person on the planet.”