Muhammad Ali Center Paints Inspiring Portrait of Boxer's Life

"Children touch Muhammad's heart in a way, you know, I don't think anyone else can," Lonnie said. "He calls them 'refugees from heaven.' So, they're little angels and he just, he just believes, you know, that all children have, or should have a bright future and -- he'd do anything he could to help them."

In another pavilion of the center is his daughter Laila Ali giving boxing lessons.

And another pavilion offers a tribute to a moment no one will ever forget: the lighting of the cauldron at the 1996 Olympic Games.

"It was a big decision, but it was such an honor, such an honor. … But when he tried to light the cauldron and it didn't light, I was thinking, 'It's not lighting. What's wrong? It's not lighting. He's holding it there,'" Lonnie said. "But once it lit, the swell of -- of emotion that went through that crowd, through that arena, it was, it was amazing. … There were tears. There were shouts of joy."

Lonnie believes she knows what Ali would say to athletes today.

"I can only surmise what I think Muhammad would say just from knowing him. But I think Muhammad would say, do as much as you can, you know, because that's the way you will be remembered," she said. "God gives you special gifts and the more God gives you, the more he expects."

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