Nelson Mandela

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Neil Tovey and Nelson Mandela

Photograph By Mykel Nicolaou/Getty Images

By the time Nelson Mandela was released from prison, South Africa had been banned from international sports competition. Those bans were lifted with the end of apartheid. He embraced sports as a way to unify his divided country and celebrated wins such as the Africa Nations Cup in 1996. Captain Neil Tovey, left, and the South African team beat Tunisia 2-0 in Johannesburg.