With the passing of Nelson Mandela at the age of 95 this past week, the world has celebrated and honored the great contribution the South African leader made to the world. Using rugby as a symbol for equality and forgiveness, Mandela united a nation and demonstrated the power of sports to alter the landscape of a country and the spirit of its people.
See how rugby and the world have remembered Madiba.
All 16 teams plus the referees paid special tribute to Nelson Mandela during the South Africa Sevens in the stadium that bears his name.
INSPIRED SOUTH AFRICA WIN HOME SEVENS TITLE
An inspired South Africa came from 14-0 down to fight back and win a popular victory against New Zealand, 17-14, to clinch the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay South Africa Sevens.
It is the first time since 2008 that the South Africans have won their home Sevens tournament, and their first at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, a poignant and fitting tribute to the country's late former President.
In a repeat of the final from two years ago, won in the dying seconds by New Zealand, Branco du Preez and the influential captain Kyle Brown hit back for a spirited South Africa cheered on by over 30,000 fans.
Congratulations to @bokrugby winning their first home title since 2008, and first at the @NMB_Stadium pic.twitter.com/UaDxicS2sI width="390" height="219"— IRB Sevens (@IRBSevens) December 8, 2013
A TALE OF SPORTS AND POLITICS
"It would be sport, a foremost tool for the most-admired person on the planet, the man the British parliamentarian Tony Benn once reasonably called "the president of humanity."
Read more from Sports on Earth
NELSON MANDELA: RUGBY'S DEBT TO THE GREAT SOUTH AFRICAN
"You can talk about sport affecting politics and vice-versa, but what he did on that day was stunning. I think if there was one single action that said a country was different, that this man was special, it was that. To me that was the power of sport at its best." Read more from The Telegraph
1995 RUGBY WORLD CUP FINAL PUT NELSON MANDELA'S BELIEF IN THE POWER OF SPORTS ON DISPLAY
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — He emerged into bright winter sunshine, stepped onto the lush field and pulled on a cap. His long-sleeve green rugby jersey was untucked and buttoned right up to the top, a style all his own. On the back, a gold No. 6, big and bold. Read more on Huffington Post
THE FULL NELSON
How a sports-savvy Nelson Mandela used rugby to unify his troubled land
Read more from the Sports Illustrated Vault.
“All of our lives are poorer today at the extinguishing of the great beacon of light and hope" - SARU Pres Hoskins. pic.twitter.com/TU4X7dH4oN— South African Rugby (@bokrugby) December 5, 2013
NELSON MANDELA (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) pic.twitter.com/onqB6CV9rJ— SA Rugby mag (@SARugbymag) December 6, 2013
RIP Nelson Mandela pic.twitter.com/DzSJWyzD59— USA Rugby (@USARugby) December 5, 2013