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Beginning with ‘The Greatest,’ Wheaties Is Celebrating Those Who Have Shaped Sports Culture

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“The Greatest” has returned to the Wheaties box.

To mark its 100-year anniversary, Wheaties is continuing its tradition of recognizing athletes for their achievements on and off the field by dropping a limited-edition “Century Box Series” starting with “The Greatest: Muhammad Ali,” an American professional boxer, activist, entertainer and philanthropist. This collectible box, now available at grocery retailers, will be the first in a multi-part commemorative series, launching throughout the centennial year and featuring inspirational champions that span decades, sports and unforgettable cultural moments, according to Minneapolis-based General Mills, which manufactures Wheaties, the cereal that long ago coined the phrase “The Breakfast of Champions.”

General Mills says Wheaties redefined what it means to be a “champion” by reserving its cover for trailblazing athletes who use their sports platforms for something greater. “Its culture-defining, collectible boxes showcased that greatness could happen on and off the field and boldly gave a national stage to athletes’ causes,” the food manufacturer said.

Each Century Box in the series will feature instantly recognizable athletes who have previously graced the Wheaties box and shaped sports culture. Wheaties chose to kick off the series with Ali in honor of the athlete’s six core principles of confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, spirituality and respect, which reflected his approach to opponents inside and outside of the ring, the company said.

“No one was quite like Muhammad Ali, beyond his unrivaled prowess in the boxing ring he was also an agent for social change, racial justice and is remembered as a civil rights icon,” said Taylor Gessell, brand experience manager for Wheaties. “We are proud to launch our commemorative series by honoring the valiant legacy of Muhammad Ali.”

Ali, who died in 2016, is recognized as one of the greatest boxers ever. He was a three-time world heavyweight boxing titleholder and gold medalist at the 1960 Rome games. The worldwide legend first appeared on the front of a Wheaties box in 1999.

“Muhammad was a man of principle and strength, he fought against discrimination and injustice in their many forms,” said Lonnie Ali, Muhammad Ali’s wife. “He was a voice for equality and justice for all. He would be honored to be the first athlete featured on the Wheaties Century Box so that his enduring wisdom, optimism and hopes can continue to affect emerging athletes and humanitarians.”

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