Sports-mad South Africa salutes Mandela "The Captain"




 
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December 7th, 2013  
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Topic: Sports-mad South Africa salutes Mandela "The Captain"


By Ed Stoddard and Ed Cropley JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Sports-mad South Africa saluted Nelson Mandela on Saturday with smiles and moments of silence in honor of the late anti-apartheid leader, who inspired people to pursue the impossible from politics to the playing field. The tributes stretched across the sporting spectrum, from club cricket and fun runs to top fixtures such as a League Cup final between Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates, the Soweto giants believed to have been Mandela's favorite soccer side. Saturday's Cup final will be preceded by a ceremony in honor of South Africa's first black president, whose early sporting prowess, particularly boxing and soccer, was cut short when he was jailed for 27 years by the apartheid government. On Saturday, many recalled Mandela's central role in arguably South Africa's greatest sporting triumph - winning the 1995 rugby World Cup just one year after the multi-racial elections that ended decades of white-minority rule.




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