“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.” (Nelson Mandela)
Nelson Mandela died earlier this month on December 5, 2013. He will be remembered for many things such as his role as a world leader, peace maker, and anti-apartheid hero, but he will also be remembered as an advocate for sport and an athlete himself. An amateur boxer in the 1950s, Mandela spent hours each day running and exercising, even during his 27 years in prison. In 1995 when South Africa’s rugby team won the Rugby World Cup, Mandela presented the trophy to the Afrikaner captain, a gesture that showed South Africa and the world that equality is possible and that sport has a unique power to unite people, in South Africa and beyond.