SA sports heroes victorious on Mandela Day

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On Sunday July 18 2010, we celebrated the second Mandela Day. People from all walks of life around the world celebrated Mandela Day, donating 67 minutes of their time to those in need. While Madiba spent a quiet day at home, celebrating his 92nd birthday with his family, others spent their day feeding street children, cleaning schools and helping out at local clinics. And a couple of other South Africans spent even more than 67 minutes carving out victories in top sporting events around the world. And they both dedicated their wins to Madiba. VIVA Madiba, Louis Oosthuizen and Jordy Smith!! VIVA!


St. Andrews – An outrageous 200-1 long shot he might have been, but looking back, all the signs were there for Louis Oosthuizen to play the best golf of his life and win The Open.

First of all, 2010 has been billed as South Africa’s year with the successful hosting of football’s World Cup and then Sunday, the final day of the tournament, fell on Nelson Mandela’s 92nd birthday. Oosthuizen, a happy-go-lucky 27-year-old who bears the nickname of Shrek as his friends believe he resembles the swamp-loving movie ogre, had not been aware of the Mandela celebrations until just before he set off for the course. “I woke up this morning and I didn’t know it was his birthday today, but I saw it this morning on the news, on the internet. It felt a bit special out there,” he said.

“And you know, when I walked down 18, I was thinking about his birthday and then my manager also gave me a list of things, and it was also in there. “So it worked out. What he’s done for our country is unbelievable, so ‘Happy Birthday’ to him once again.”


Jeffreys Bay – Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, has claimed his maiden ASP elite victory, taking out the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay over Adam Melling (AUS), 25, in front of a capacity hometown crowd.

Event No. 4 of 10 on the 2010 ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Tour, the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay was nothing but blaring Vuvuzelas and roars from the bluff as these two titans went tit-for-tat in an incredible Final exchange. The young South African proved the victor, dominating from the outset and securing an emotional first win.

“This is the best day of my life,” Smith said. “The crowd on the beach has been supporting me the last few days and hearing the cheers and the vuvuzelas just gets me fired up to perform. It feels like they’re pushing me along. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

The most experienced surfer at Jeffreys Bay, Smith left very little to chance in the Final against Melling, opening his account with a blazing 8.90 before backing it up with some scintillating forehand surfing for a 9.03. The combination of scores (17.93 out of a possible 20) proved insurmountable for Melling.

“I knew the swell was dying and I had to take advantage of every wave that came through,” Smith said. “Adam (Melling) is such a dangerous surfer. He’s been in form all day and I knew that if he got the waves, he would get the scores. I went out there knowing I had to open up strong.”

Surf photos courtesy of Gavin Gamsu: click here for more

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