1st Jesse Owens Award goes posthumously to Muhammad Ali

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2014, file photo, Muhammad Ali is shown before the Ali Humanitarian Awards ceremony in Louisville, Ky. A spokesman for boxing great Muhammad Ali says the former heavyweight champion is being treated in a hospital for a respiratory issue. Spokesman Bob Gunnell said Thursday, June 2, 2016, that Ali is being treated by doctors as a precaution. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2014, file photo, Muhammad Ali is shown before the Ali Humanitarian Awards ceremony in Louisville, Ky. A spokesman for boxing great Muhammad Ali says the former heavyweight champion is being treated in a hospital for a respiratory issue. Spokesman Bob Gunnell said Thursday, June 2, 2016, that Ali is being treated by doctors as a precaution. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – The first Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award will recognize the late Muhammad Ali.

The Owens Award was started this year, the 80th anniversary of Owens’ four-gold-medal performance at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and is to be presented annually to recognize Olympians who have served as an inspiration in society.

Owens’ granddaughter, Marlene Dortch, will present the award at next week’s Best of the Games awards ceremony to Ali’s widow, Lonnie.

Ali won the gold medal at the Rome 1960 Olympics, then took three world heavyweight championships – in 1964, 1974 and 1978.

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