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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Spotlight

If Not Holyfield, Then Ali

A look at the day that was and at what lies ahead at the Summer Games

July 23, 1996|TIM KAWAKAMI

Boxer Evander Holyfield, who carried the Olympic torch into the Olympic stadium Friday night, said Monday he is glad officials chose Muhammad Ali to light the Olympic torch at the opening ceremonies.

"When they told me I was going to bring the torch into the stadium, I wanted to ask them, 'So, who's going to light it?' " Holyfield said. "But they weren't talking about that.

"Then, about 10 minutes before I got the torch, somebody told me it would be Ali. And I felt really good, here's a man I think deserves to carry it.

"I didn't think there were too many people who were better choices than me, but when I saw it was Ali I was filled with joy. Because he's a man who stood up in more ways than one, not just in boxing but in humanity."

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