When Mandela Met Heyns: Sport Can Change The World

Penny Heyns was a cause celebre when she won two Olympic titles in 1996, her meetings with Nelson Mandela among her precious memories [image: ragout of a 1990s Sport Club Magazine feature]

“First of all, he shook my hand, and said he’d never wash his hand again. So I said I’d never wash mine!” – Penny Heyns recalling a meeting with Nelson Mandela on the day that South Africa and the world bade farewell to Madiba; tributes from Heyns’ fellow Olympic gold medal winners Chad Le Clos and Roland Schoeman; FINA flies flag at half mast in Lausanne

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“First of all, he shook my hand, and said he’d never wash his hand again. So I said I’d never wash mine!” – Penny Heyns recalling a meeting with Nelson Mandela on the day that South Africa and the world bade farewell to Madiba; tributes from Heyns’ fellow Olympic gold medal winners Chad Le Clos and Roland Schoeman; FINA flies flag at half mast in Lausanne

Comments

mister clive

It is humbling to read the heartfelt tributes from all facets of society and realize we have lived at the same time as one of history’s greatest humanitarians. Politicians nowadays don a national team uniform at the drop of a hat and as if they deserve it; what they are really saying is, “I’m a ‘lad’, vote for me.” Madiba’s RSA team shirt at the finals of the Rugby World Cup transcended the trivial nonsense of party politics and sent the message, “The country is with you. All South Africa is playing today.” Clint Eastwood’s depiction of the first meeting between Francois Pienaar and President Mandela in Invictus sends chills down the spine. Imagine being the captain asked to take on that responsibility. Imagine being a leader brave enough to ask it!

Craig Lord

Thanks for that comment Clive. Quite so, lovely stuff 🙂

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