Sports for Peace 2012
On the occasion of the Olympic Games in London, Sports for Peace supported by Cinema for Peace hosted a very special Gala on July 25 honouring Muhammad Ali, the “greatest of all time”. Sports idols such as Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, tennis legend Boris Becker, the world champion in heavyweight boxing Wladimir Klitschko, Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Christopher Lee and the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda presented Muhammad Ali’s core values. "Muhammad Ali is the greatest of all time. The greatest living sportsman. To be in his presence one more time is a big honour and a privilege”, the 3-time Wimbledon-winner Becker said. “From an athlete he became a peacemaker, he became a global warrior and just a spokesperson for the right causes".
Sports for Peace aims at promoting the Olympic ideals of freedom and intercultural understanding and was created during the preliminary stages of the Olympic Games in Bejing 2008 in response to the question whether sport or major sporting events could be obliged to common ideals, following a discussion with Richard Gere in 2007 and joint Cinema for Peace-initiatives in regards of Tibet and China.
The Sports for Peace Gala event raised funds for the educational Muhammad Ali Center and for research into Parkinson's disease. Ali has battled the degenerative brain condition for almost 30 years and only makes rare public appearances, this was his first travel abroad for 3 years, after actress Michelle Yeoh had helped to secure adequate transportation.
Long time Cinema for Peace partner Sir Bob Geldof said Ali was the rare athlete who had made a difference in the world in the fields of sports, peace and humanity. "Muhammad Ali was intensely political, and changed the whole agenda," Geldof said. "He did it with the same bravery he did in the ring".
The reigning world champion in heavyweight boxing and 10-year-committee-member of Cinema for Peace Wladimir Klitschko stated: "Muhammad, you are the best of all time, you are the Greatest and we love you".