From oblivion to glory: from Muhammad Ali to Tiger Woods

In LatinAmerican Post we compile the moments in which three sports legends of different disciplines decided to forget their retirement to reach new triumphs.

From oblivion to glory: from Muhammad Ali to Tiger Woods

"I am very clear that my level of play is not acceptable to play tournaments and therefore I must solve this problem and return when it is competitive again", is a fragment of the press release that Tiger Woods made public on February 12 of 2015, according to the EFE agency. With this, who once occupied the number 1 position in the world ranking, made official his temporary retirement from the golf courses.

Leer en español: Del olvido a la gloria: de Muhammad Ali a Tiger Woods

In addition to the bad sporting moment that the American golfer lived, one of the main triggers for him to give up his career for more than three years was his health. However, on September 23, Tiger's life took a 180-degree turn when he won his first major championship, after five years without success, the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.

"Probably the lowest point was not knowing if I could ever live again free of pain (...) Will I be able to sit, stand, walk, lie down without feeling the pain I felt? I just did not want to live that way. (...) I could not sit down. I could not walk. I could not lie down without feeling the pain in my back and in my leg. That was the lowest point for a long time, "said the athlete after winning the Tour Championship in East Lake, the last major tournament of the PGA Tour.

With all this, according to ESPN, Tiger also could have stayed with the Fedex Cup, the highest award of the PGA Tour, as it gathers the weighted score of all the skills developed during the season. The champion was the European Justin Rose, with 2,260 points, 41 more than Woods (2,219), reported the official page of the PGA. This title is number 80 of Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour.

Now, as it happened with this famous golfer, many other athletes decided to say goodbye to the competitions without knowing that the future was going to give them new triumphs years later. For example, Muhammad Ali and Michael Phelps.

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Muhammad Ali: the return of the champion

Place? Zaire (today Democratic Republic of the Congo). Year? 1974. Protagonists? Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Result? For several experts, the best boxing match in history.

According to Mundo Deportivo , Cassius Clay (known as Muhammad Ali) was not at his sporting best, considering that since 1971 he did not attend, professionally, a boxing ring, due to his refusal to fight in Vietnam on behalf of the United States. "He was no longer the fighter who dazzled with his vertiginous footwork that drove the rivals crazy. He had become predictable and did not have them all with him, " described the Spanish media. On the other hand, was the then heavyweight world champion, George Foreman, who not only held the title, but his incredible record behind him: 40 consecutive wins.

The newspaper ABC detailed that the so-called 'Roar in the Jungle' ended the incredible run of eight victories before the second round that Foreman had achieved, because, although in the fight against Muhammad George tried by all means to defeat him, the experienced boxer it was enough just a couple of minutes of the eighth round to knock down his rival. KO of Ali on Foreman.


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After three years without participating in a professional fight, Muhammad returned to seize the title, with a fight that went down in the history of world sport.

Michael Phelps: six more medals

After the completion of the London 2012 Olympic Games, Michael Phelps decided to say no more to the professional competitions, after hanging 22 Olympic medals in his career (18 gold). In addition, according to ESPN , this number of awards made him the most successful athlete of the Olympics - four more than the Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina (18) -, and the one with the most gold medals in that event, so his retirement was more than worthy.

"The competitive part of my career is finished, but it does not mean that my relationship with swimming is. I will continue to be involved, but looking from the outside, " said the 'Tiburón de Baltimore' in declarations on the portal 24 Horas, from Chile .

However, the body and mind of Phelps could still offer much more, so, according to the newspaper MARCA , in 2014 he announced his return to the pools in order to train and strengthen for the 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro .

In Brazil, Michael's level was not lower than what he showed in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and four years earlier in London. With six more medals (five of them Gold), and 31 years of age, the athlete increased his legend with 28 Olympic medals in his track record.


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At the end of the Games, Phelps announced, once again, his withdrawal; the same that several publications like El Mundo established as "the definitive one".


Latinamerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández

Translated from "Del olvido a la gloria: de Muhammad Ali a Tiger Woods 

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