Sports is in the air again. Whether it is cricket where the men’s national team unfortunately lost the Champion’s trophy and the women’s team exceeded all expectations or badminton where Kidambi Srikanth has set new records and in tennis Wimbledon seems to be wide open this year with Serena Williams not playing. So this seemed a perfect time to pick up a book on my ‘to be read’ list for a long time….Muhammad Ali’s autobiography.
Muhammad Ali is that rare sportsman who managed to transcend all borders even though he lived in difficult times. Boxing brought him fame but he was truly an icon who transcended sports.
In this book Ali talks about his growing years and how he became a boxer. He talks about living in a time which was full of racial conflicts and doesn’t try to paper over the conflicts and insults he faced. Ali doesn’t shy away from talking about controversies either, whether it was his decision to convert to islaam or his decision to not enlist for the vietnam war.
Ali beleived in his convictions and felt that he had to stand by his principles no matter what the cost, it would have been easy for him to make compromises but he felt that he owed it to his fans and to himself to do the right thing.
He was that rare combination of statesman and showman. He knew how to give the crowd their moneys worth but when the time came he was willing to stand against the crowd for what he felt was right.
The one thing that shines through the book is his supreme confidence and the courage that he had. He lived his life with no regrets and in time the world came to understand and appreciate just why there could only be one Muhammad Ali.
“I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The name my friends is Muhammad Ali.”
Ali was a man who was born to shine and nothing and no one could dim his light.
This book is a treasure trove of trivia and details about one of the biggest sporting icons we ever had. I would recommend it to all sport lovers but more importantly to anyone who wants to know what it takes for men to become true icons and leaders.
Buy this great read here: