LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Winning the heavyweight Olympic gold medal in 1960 was a pivotal moment in the life of Muhammad Ali. Now, with the delayed 2020 Olympic Games set to begin next week in Tokyo, the Muhammad Ali Center is making some of its Olympic Games collection available for viewing online.
Not everyone can get to the Ali Center, but its Digital Museum makes various elements of its collections available for view for anyone, free of charge.
The online exhibit, World Stage: An Olympic Introduction to the Greatest of All Time, went live at noon on Wednesday. The exhibit showcases the 1960 Olympic Games held in Rome, when the world got its first real glimpse of the talkative and talented young boxer named Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., from Louisville.
The online exhibit highlights items from the Ali Center's permanent collection that relate to the 1960 Rome Olympic Games and the win that put him on the map, setting the tone for his wildly successful pro boxing career.
Also included in the exhibit are candid photos of Ali with his Olympic teammates, and the replacement gold medal he was presented in 1996 after lighting the torch for the Olympic Games in Atlanta, an item on loan from Lonnie Ali.
Online visitors also can see the program from the Olympic Trials, a ticket stub from the games and other pieces the museum has collected over the years.
The Ali Center launched its online archival collection last month and now offers digital exhibits for the world to experience for free as another way to extend Muhammad Ali's global reach. The opening exhibit was entitled, Muhammad and LeRoy: A Friendship in Art, in honor of artist LeRoy Neiman's 100th birthday anniversary on June 8.
The Ali Center's digital museum and archives was launched in partnership with HistoryIT, which was responsible for creating the website and for the migration of some items, and was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through a $50,000 grant.
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