Invictus: The Day Mandela Flipped the Script

June 24, 1995 – The president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, spent enough of his life in jail to warrant his holding a giant grudge toward anything and everything that represented white South Africa, including the national (but historically all-white) rugby team, who were squaring off against New Zealand's feared All Blacks (considered to be the greatest rugby organization in the world) in the Rugby World Cup final.

Rather than ignore the event, Mandela showed up for the game in Johannesburg wearing the famous No. 6 jersey of the Springboks captain Francois Pienaar.  South African won, 15-12.  

The honor of the moment "will always be a part of me," said Pienaar afterward.  "After the win, President Mandela said thank you for what we have done for South Africa.  I said we could never have done as much as he has."

See how it all took place and why the courage of one man has changed the way the world views the power of sports in the video below. 

You can also see the more complete story in the 2009 feature film "Invictus" starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela.


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