Sports in South Africa - From Swimming to Rugby

Sports in South Africa -  Swimming - RugbySports in South Africa -  Swimming - Rugby
Sports in South Africa -  Swimming - RugbySports in South Africa -  Swimming - Rugby

Sports in South Africa - From Swimming to Rugby


The New South Africa

Did you know- The new South Africa - post Apartheid-- made its Olympic debut in the Olympiad in Barcelona'92.From the 1900s to 1960,they had participated representing the white-ruled South Africa. During that time, ironically, there were many Olympic champions from South Africa: Esther Brand (athletics/ women's high jump), William Smith (boxing), Joan Harrison (swimming/ women's 100m backstroke), Geral Dreyer (boxing), Reggie Walker (track & field/ 100m), George Hunter (boxing), Rudolph Lewis (cycling), Charles Winslow (tennis), and Kenneth McArthur (men's marathon).

Olympic Movement

Did you know- SA sent athletes to the 1960 Rome Olympics, but this appearance was its last until 1992. Why? Because of the nation's policy of apartheid, from the 1960s to 1991, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), under the pressure from Africa, Guyana, and India, ousted the white-ruled South Africa from the Olympic Movement. In that time, SA was condemned by the United Nations and other major international organizations, including the International Olympic Committee. As a result, the South African athletes could not compete in the Games and a host of World Championships, from soccer, athletics, swimming and basketball to archery, fencing and gymnastics.

National Idols

Did you know- South Africa's swimmer Penny Heyns was unknown until 1996 when she won two golds in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. In that Olympiad, she, a white girl, became the first non-European swimmer to win the women's 100-meter breaststroke since 1972. On the other hand, Miss Heyns received a heroine's welcome when she won the Olympic titles. Like Charlize Theron ( world-famous actress) and Nadine Gordimer (1991 Nobel Prize), she is an idol in the African nation.

African Games & Olympics

Did you know- At the Pan African Games, between September 13 and September 23, 1995, in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, the Olympic team of South Africa finished first in the medal count, with an African record of 154 medals ( 64 gold, 51 silver, 39 bronze), outpacing Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria. Following on from its success at the African Games, the South African team competed in the 26th Olympiad in America, between July 19 and August 4, 1996. At the Atlanta Summer Olympics,the African team placed 27th in the tally of gold medals ( two in women's swimming and one in men's marathon).

1948 Olympics

Did you know- At the London Olympics in 1948, South Africa took 18th place in unofficial team standings, outpacing Norway, Austria and India.


Did you know- The South African rugby team is listed among the world's best teams.

Alejandro Guevara Onofre: Freelance writer. Alejandro is author of a host of articles/essays about over 220 countries and dependencies (and American States as well), from ecology, history, tourism and national heroes to Olympic sports, foreign relations, and wildlife. In addition, he has published some books on women's rights, among them "History of the Women in America" and "Famous Americans".

Article Source:


Article Source:

Sports in South Africa -  Swimming - Rugby