Nelson Mandela and Sports

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Text: Jean-Pierre Muller/AFP/Getty Images

Nelson Mandela

1995

Perhaps no political figure embraced sports in a way that has had as great an impact on a country as Nelson Mandela. An icon of freedom, Mandela died Dec. 5 at age 95. SI.com reflects here on Mandela's connection to sports in the wake of his passing.

Mandela presents rugby team captain Francois Pienaar the William Webb trophy after South Africa defeated New Zealand 15-12 in the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup. When Mandela handed the Cup to Pienaar he said, "Thank you very much for what you have done for our country." Pienaar replied, Mr President, "it is nothing compared to what you have done for our country."

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