South Africa should host an Olympic Games to toast the achievements of Nelson Mandela, it’s been claimed.
Sam Ramsamy, South Africa’s International Olympic Committee representative, said doing so would fulfil one of the humanist’s last wishes.
Ramsamy said Mandela – who died aged 95 on Thursday – asked him just eight months ago when South Africa was going to get an Olympics.
Ramsamy said: “Like everyone else we are grieved (sic) tremendously. But this is not the time to be mourning. This is a time to celebrate the achievements of Nelson Mandela, there are too many to record.
“He always stated that sport is a uniting factor, it is a universal language, it is a non-verbal language. He always said sports can transmit to very many people which no politician can do. And that we will always remember.
“Undoubtedly the World Cup held in South Africa in 2010 was something he always wanted because he felt he wanted a major event in South Africa. He was part of the team that went to Zurich to campaign for the 2010 World Cup.
“He also campaigned to get the Olympic Games. When I last spoke with him. About eight months ago, he said ‘Sam, when are we going to get the Olympic Games’?
“I said ‘We’re trying our very best’. And hopefully in the future we can commemorate Nelson Mandela’s activities, his passion for sport and his passion for the Olympics in trying to get the Games to South Africa in the very near future.”