By A Web Design

● Ali, the Great, the Legend. The man, who had a new vision of the role of a champion, was forced to play the part of his sad decline in the opening ceremony of the Games in London.

Muhammad Ali with wife Lonnie at Olympic Stadium © Getty Images

The director was cynical, and he used it. The man, the myth could not understand what was happening around. He was completely absent. Parkinson's disease has drained all his energy and his pitiless wife was urging him to move like a puppet without a soul. He wanted to take the edge of the Olympic flag but the fingers of Mohammed Ali are now almost lifeless and weak.

It 's true, many have applauded the ingenious idea of the director, a magician who exploited the macabre side of the story. Then came the terrible picture of Ali rigid and unable to sit. The image was like a slap in the face for us. We felt sorry for him. What reason was there to send him to this massacre? When he had access to the Olympic flame in Atlanta 1996, people had tears of joy. That image has remained in the history of the Games and this time the indelible image of the Great, the Legend will remain, but for the opposite reason: the horror.

We are not prudes, but we believe that good taste should be part of the Olympic spirit. We would like to know what went through the head of Dr Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC and an orthopedic surgeon when he watched, or was he distracted? Would he send one of his patients to play such a role on the world's largest stage? We think not.

The evening was an ode to life and joy and, therefore and it was not necessary to put Ali into the show at all costs against his will.

The director chose not to give us a "legend to remember" when he used more than one person to light the cauldron - no Cathy Freeman, no Mohammed Ali or Li Ning.

Film director Danny Boyle will be the name forever remembered as the star of the evening with his image of the Queen and James Bond parachuting from a helicopter, and because of the drama of the Parkinson's afflicted Ali.

Gianni Merlo
La Gazzetta dello Sport

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