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Ancient Greece meets “the greatest” — Muhammad Ali and peace through sport

Ancient Greece meets “the greatest” — Muhammad Ali and peace through sport


In this latest edition of our Podcast Classics series, we’re going to be connecting the dots between Ancient Greece, rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and the boxer the world knows, simply, as “the greatest”: Muhammad Ali.

With the Winter Olympics due to begin on 9 February in South Korea, the world is holding its breath to see if the decision for both North and South to march under a united flag at the opening ceremony, can translate into real negotiation over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

One legendary sporting figure and former Olympic gold medallist who devoted much of his life to unity and social justice under the UN banner, is three-time world champion Muhammad Ali, who came to the UN back in 1979 to talk to journalists about pretty much everything under the sun.

Matt Wells has also been talking to the head of the Olympic Truce Centre and asking him what the value really is of sporting role models like Ali, to the world at large in times of conflict and strife.


The archive of Muhammad Ali comes from the UN Audiovisual Library. Sample the full range of historic audio at



Penny the Snitch, by Ikebe Shakedown (Creative Commons licence).

State of Mind, by Audiobinger (Attribution-NonCommercial licence).

Audio Credit
Matt Wells, UN News
Photo Credit
UN Photo/Ky Chung