Columbia Gym, Louisville Kentucky

Muhammad Ali: The Columbia Gym Today

Today, Spalding University’s athletic departments stands where Columbia Gym once reigned. In honor of Muhammad Ali and his illustrious career, the University recently renamed the location back to its original: Columbia Gym.

Shortly after Muhammad Ali’s death in 2016, Spalding University placed a replica of that Schwinn bicycle Ali had stolen from him over the front entrance as a tribute to Ali’s and Martin’s first meeting.

The story of the red bicycle continues to resonate for people not just around this region of Kentucky, but around the world. The mentorship, support, and care that Joe Martin showed a young Cassius Clay clearly moved the Hall of Fame boxer onto a new path.

According to Spalding University Athletic Director Roger Bergman, “Our students are motivated daily by the history that began here with the red bike story. It should inspire us all to not only compete at our highest level, but also to serve others at an equally high level.”

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