Bill Clinton calls Ali ‘man of faith' at Lou. memorial service

Crystal, Gumbel and Clinton speak at Ali service

LOUISVILLE (ASSOCIATED PRESS) -- Former President Bill Clinton closed out the memorial service to Muhammad Ali by calling him a "man of faith" who took "perfect gifts we all have" and released them to the world.

"Being a man of faith, he realized he would never be in full control of his life. Something like Parkinson's could come along," Clinton said. "But being free, he realized that life was filled with multiple choices. It is the choices that Muhammad Ali made are what brought us all here today."

Clinton noted that Ali never felt self-pity because of the Parkinson's disease he battled for three decades, and said he continued to give himself to the world as "a universal soldier for our common humanity" long after his diagnosis.

"I think Ali decided at a very young age to write his own story," Clinton said. "He never got credit for being as smart as he was."

After Clinton’s speech the memorial for Muhammad Ali came to an end.

The star-studded service ended with a moment of silence and a closing prayer. His family walked slowly out of the building and is heading for a private ceremony at the Muhammad Ali Center a few blocks away.

 


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