My Lasting Memory of the #Olympic Opening Ceremony

29 Jul

It won’t be Danny Boyles amazing spectacle charting British history or Daniel Craig’s James Bond collecting the Queen or Rowan Atkinson doing Chariots of Fire; not even the replica of Glastonbury Tor being used to hold the flags that I’ll remember most about the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.

No all of this will fade in time,, but there is one piece of footage that I fear will not fade. OIt’s a tiny piece of footage compared to the whole spectacle of the opening ceremony, but it made me cry my eyes out:

Please watch the above video of Muhammad Ali. I need your help…

I need to know whether you think the man in that footage is in control of his faculties, ie is he aware of himself and his environment? This is important

Having watched the video numerous times myself and, while no expert, I’m not entirely convinced Muhammad Ali would be declared mentally competent to make decisions for himself.

I sincerely hope that my eyes deceive me, my gut is wrong and Ali is still sound enough of mind to make decisions for himself. I sincerely hope that he used his intact mental capacity to choose to attend the Olympics opening…the alternative to this would be horrific.

The only real alternative would be: Muhammad Ali is no longer capable of making decisions for himself and someone holds a Power of Attourney agreement to make decisions on his behalf. If this was the case, it’s hard to argue that accepting an invitation to take part in the Olympic opening ceremony on behalf of a man in the late stages of Parkinson’s Disease, would ever be deemed in the best interests of that individual. Unless I’m missing something, this would be exploitative, both morally and ethically bereft.

Based solely on appearances it seems to me that these are reasonable questions to be asking. It’s not about it being Muhammad Ali, it’s about a vulnerable man of 70 with advanced stage Parkinson’s and whether his interests are being correctly safeguarded and his dignity maintained.

Luckily there has at least been one Journalist who seems to have met Ali a few days before the opening ceremony.That journalist is Paul Hayward, Chief Sports Editor for The Telegraph His piece uses this video as proof of the point that ‘Muhammad Ali’s electrifying aura whips up an Olympic frenzy at awards ceremony’. You must draw your own conclusions on whether the footage demonstrates that.

Even Hayward admits in the article that: ‘A hand lifted to acknowledge the adulation of a London crowd was Muhammad Ali’s only physical contribution,’ Telegraph Source.

I have more questions than answers.


2 Responses to “My Lasting Memory of the #Olympic Opening Ceremony”


  1. My Lasting Memory of the #Olympic Opening Ceremony | weeklyblogclub - August 5, 2012

    […] My Lasting Memory of the #Olympic Opening Ceremony by Paul Coxon. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestMoreEmailRedditPrintDiggStumbleUponTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in boxing, health, mental health, Olympics, special events and tagged Muhammad Ali, Olympic Opening Ceremony by weeklyblogclub. Bookmark the permalink. […]


  2. Olympics, reflections…and a remembrance | weeklyblogclub - August 5, 2012

    […] state of health, especially at his mental state, from what he had seen at the opening ceremony: My Lasting Memory of the #Olympic Opening Ceremony. Carol Woolley was pleased to see the National Health Service being shown off to the world by Danny […]


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