Muhammad Ali

What is it that makes a great athlete? Is it wins and losses? Is it the example that they set for others? Is it sheer athletic ability or the force of will to succeed that makes one truly "great?"

The answer may be different for everyone, and perhaps it is up to the observer to decide, but arguably for no one is the title "the Greatest" more fitting than for boxer Muhammad Ali. Because of not only his accomplishments as an athlete, but for the mark he made on the time and place in which he lived, it is difficult to find any sports figure that did more to shape their world than Muhammad Ali.

According to Ali opponent George Foreman, "I don't call him the best boxer of all time, but he is the best human being I ever met." The purpose of this assignment is to read about Ali and gain an understanding of why he is considered so important to the time and place in which he lived.

You will be writing a three paragraph response. In the first, please give Ali's background story. Who was he, and what did he do? Be sure to mention the Vietnam War, his conversion to Islam, his philanthropy, the way he acted according to the dictates of his conscience and his performances in matches against the likes of Joe Frazier and George Foreman.

In the second paragraph, I want you to define what it means to be great, and how Muhammad Ali met these criteria to so many of the people of his generation.

In your final paragraph, I want you to discuss greatness. How can a person follow in the example of Muhammad Ali and become great in whatever they do. What are the key attributes necessary for someone to be considered great, and how can those attributes be developed.