When South African rugby fans named Frik du Preez the country's rugby player of the twentieth century, it was a vote not only for his prodigious performances on the field, but also for his charisma and influence on those around him.
South Africa is blessed with three world-class canoe marathons, each offering the paddler a supreme challenge along with genuine camaraderie in a field that includes not only those trying to win, but also those who come to compete with themselves and the river.
After 21 years without success, Ferrari finally crowned a Formula One world champion in 2000 when Michael Schumacher won the prestigious title. Ironically, it was thanks to this lack of success that the previous Ferrari champion first became known to the new generation of racing fans. He was South Africa's Jody Scheckter.
For the golf enthusiast, South Africa is a wonderful destination - and that's an understatement. The country boasts an ideal climate for spending time out on the fairways under the bright African sun, and golfers here are blessed for choice.
South Africa has consistently produced good golfers, and Ernie Els ranks among the best of them, one of seven South Africans to have won a major championship. "The Big Easy" is a four-time major winner, having captured the US Open and the oldest title of them all, The Open Championship, twice each.
Horse racing is a popular sport in SA, with regular racing taking place around the country. The sport enjoys a long and rich history in South Africa that can be traced back to 1797!
Voted South Africa's sportsman of the twentieth century, Gary Player is one of only five people to have won golf's Grand Slam, has 163 international tournament victories to his name - 63 more than the great Jack Nicklaus - and is thought to have travelled further for sport than any athlete in history.
When Gary Kirsten did well, South Africa did well. Over the course of an 11-year career the nuggety left hander from Cape Town became the rock upon which the South African team built its batting. And when he was finished he owned most of the important South African batting records.
He was the shortest ever boxing world champion, and the only South African to win four world titles. But it was "Baby Jake" Matlala's heart that captured the imagination of the South African public.
The first Protea to capture 300 test wickets, Allan Donald was for some time the most successful Test bowler in South African cricketing history, and ranks among the best in the history of the game.