World Stage: An Olympic Introduction to the Greatest of All Time
The 1960 Olympic Games held in Rome was a competition of firsts.
It was the first time Italy hosted the Games. Though they were supposed to be held there in 1908, Mt. Vesuvius erruption in 1906 made the nation wait 52 years before they would be the epicenter for the world's most elite athletic competition.
It was the first time the Games were televised. Every day film was flown to New York City, voiced over, and broadcast on CBS, giving many Americans their first glimpse of the Olympic Games.
It was the first time the world would hear the name Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. Though Clay had begun making a name for himself in amateur boxing circles and though he would one day become known as Muhammad Ali, this was the first time he stood on an international stage and won.
This digital exhibit highlights items from the Muhammad Ali Center's permanent collection that relate to the 1960 Rome Olympic Games and Muhammad Ali's first international triumph, the win that put him on the map and set the tone for the beginning of his professional boxing career. For the purposes of this exhibit, Muhammad Ali will be referred to as Cassius Clay, as he was known during the Olympics in 1960.