The US city of Louisville in Kentucky has decided to rename its airport after hometown hero Muhammad Ali on his birthday.
The Louisville Regional Airport Authority’s board voted Wednesday, just a day before Ali would have turned 77, to change the name to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the airport said the Louisville Regional Airport Authority’s board voted meaningfully to recognise the legacy of the Louisville native by renaming the airport in his honour. The airport’s three-letter location identifier – SDF – will not change.
On Ali’s birthday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also tweeted: “Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown. Today’s decision to change flylouisville’s name to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is a major piece of a broader effort to celebrate those deep ties.”
Muhammad Ali, who was previously named Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, changed his name after converting to Islam.
The heavyweight boxer was born on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. He started his in-ring career at the age of 12 years.
The athlete was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984 and he passed away on June 3, 2016.