We’ve decided to choose our top 5 sporting moments in South African history. The reason being: most South Africans never watch a sporting event without an ample supply of biltong to go with the game. In other words, during the great sporting moments, the chances of biltong being wolfed down at that specific moment in time are pretty high. South Africans live and breathe sport, so it makes sense that there are plenty of great moments to choose from.
Here’s our pick, in no specific order.
Winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup
The 1995 World Cup was a monumental occasion partly because it was the first major sporting event to take place in South Africa following the end of apartheid.
Following the South Africa's victory against New Zealand, Nelson Mandela, the then President of South Africa, wearing a Springboks Rugby shirt and cap, presented the Webb Ellis Cup to the South African captain François Pienaar.
South Africans across the country united in victory and all felt the magic of a promising future.
Winning the 1996 African Cup of Nations
Bafana Bafana won the title on home soil, defeating Tunisia in the final. The 1996 African cup of Nations was the first title for the South African soccer team and seemed to exponentially grow South African spirits, building on the rugby world cup victory the previous year.
The first goal of the 2010 world cup
South African midfielder, Siphiwe Tshabalala, scored the first goal of the 2010 World Cup as the host nation took on Mexico.
The South African population was glued to their TV sets when Tshabalala sent a screamer hurling past the Mexican goalkeeper. The stadium erupted and the bars and living rooms around the country followed shortly after. It was an unforgettable moment that will replay on television sets for decades to come.
What a world cup is was with South Africa performing well under the global spotlight.
South Africa’s rowing team wins Olympic gold
The South African rowing team dug deep during the 2012 London Olympics to bring the gold back home. At the beginning of the race, the boys looked like that there would be no medal, but after much determination, the South Africans managed to claw their way back to beat Britain and receive a gold medal.
It was a nail-biter of a race but the hard working South Africa’s reigned supreme.
Australian cricket team versus South Africa in 2005/6
Considered ‘The greatest one day international match ever played,’ many records were broken in a thrilling contest.
Australia was the first to bat and scoring 434 runs in 50 overs. South Africa scored 438 for 9 wickets and having only one ball to spare. Against the odds the Proteas gave a master-class performance to end a memorable series of cricket.
The beauty of biltong is that no matter the sport, win or lose, it’s a stable for South Africans. It’s a snack enjoyed across the rainbow nation and has been there through the good times and the bad.