Cricket is a game that has much to do with statistics and averages, but one cannot judge Jonty Rhodes purely on those because he was worth far more than the story those numbers tell.
In the course of a little over two hours and 10 minutes, on the final day of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the life of South African marathon athlete Josiah Thugwane was changed irrevocably.
Lucas Radebe grew up as one of 11 children in a tough part of Soweto during one of the most violent times under apartheid. That he went on to became one of the English Premier League's most respected players, and South Africa's most-capped footballer, is in many ways a miracle.
At the end of each year, the Nedbank Golf Challenge consistently draws some of the world's best golfers to the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City in South Africa's North West province. Small wonder: "Africa's Major" is one of the world's richest tournaments, with a total prize fund of over US$4.3-million.
South Africa's Midmar Mile - the world's largest open water swim - was first swum in 1973 when three friends, unable to compete in the Buffalo Mile in East London because of petrol restrictions, decided to stage a race in KwaZulu-Natal.
Before Retief Goosen, before Ernie Els and before Gary Player there was another South African golfer who started the tradition of excellence among players of the southernmost country in Africa: Bobby Locke.
Natal Sharks' eighthman Gary Teichmann played 42 tests for the Springboks, leading the national team on 36 occasions and establishing a reputation as a hard-working, committed, courageous and fair player throughout the rugby world.
It's well known that South Africa has produced some of the all-time greats of golf, cricket and rugby. Less well known is the fact that a man destined for American football's Hall of Fame, the scorer of the most points in the history of the NFL, was born in Parys and raised in Durban, South Africa.
Elana Meyer was among the world's elite athletes for over 10 years, establishing world records at 15 kilometres and the half marathon, and boasting five of the 15 best half marathon times in history, a consistency matched by few other athletes.
A left-handed batsman who struck the ball with immaculate timing, making the game look at once simple and stunning, Graeme Pollock was arguably the greatest left-hander in cricket history, with a test average second only to Sir Donald Bradman.