July 19, 1996: At 54 and suffering from Parkinson's syndrome, Muhammad Ali lights the cauldron at the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

At the time, this historic event drew the largest U.S. television audience ever for an opening ceremony (39.7 million viewers).

The 1996 Atlanta games marked the 100th anniversary of the modern games.

In addition to this very touching moment, Ali was also given a replacement gold medal for his boxing victory from the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He reportedly tossed the medal in the Ohio River after being denied entry to an exclusively white restaurant.

Unfortunately, the games were marred by the Centennial Olympic Park bombing on July 27.

Fueled by Ali, the United States were able to take home 44 gold, 32 silver, and 25 bronze, for a total of 101 medals, which was by far the most of any country. Russia (63 medals, 26 gold) and Germany (65 medals, 20 gold) rounded out the top three.

Check out more intriguing moments of sports history in Throwback on ThePostGame.

Story continues below