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Thursday Apr 18, 2024

Siya Kolisi named on prestigious Time 100 list

Siya Kolisi is one of the most recognisable names in world rugby, for all the right reasons. Not just an incredible player and leader, the Springbok captain is man filled to the brim with empathy and optimism that resonates through all those around him. These characteristics will forever make the great man synonymous with South Africa’s famous 2023 World Cup victory.

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The way in which he proudly strode into the post-World Cup final press conference with the World Cup trophy held high, ready to deliver the most inspired speech to the world’s press, was nothing short of incredible.

In the middle of his emotional expressions of gratitude to those who had supported the side through the tournament, Kolisi had one key message: “There are not a lot of things going right in our country, and we have the privilege to be able to do what we love and inspire people in life, not just sports people”. The sport of rugby, and that win in particular, went a long way to help bring a nation some optimism.

TOPSHOT – South Africa’s flanker and captain Siya Kolisi holds the Webb Ellis Cup as he meets with supporters after the South African rugby team’s arrival at the OR Tambo International airport in Ekurhuleni on October 31, 2023, after they won the France 2023 Rugby World Cup final match against New Zealand. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP) (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

With his legacy now secured, the future looks bright for the man. With this in mind, Time Magazine has listed Kolisi as one of their most influential people of 2024.

Written by Trevor Noah, the article reads:

“You can’t really separate South Africa’s history from rugby. Nelson Mandela once offered rugby as an olive branch between opposing sides of the country, so there’s an immense amount of pride when it comes to the sport. It’s like the connective tissue of the nation.

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“He’s been the embodiment of hope during a time in which many South Africans find it hard to hold on to any. Through political strife, an energy crisis, and the effects of COVID-19, Siya has made rugby into something more than just a competition. His multiple victories—the country’s victories—have meant so much.

“Through his wisdom and humility, Siya has taught us what a powerful captain should be: someone who serves and inspires those he leads. And for him to lead a team in a historically white sport, to be loved and adored by fans of all races, is an immense achievement.

“Siya is an incessant warrior on the field, but he’s also a doting dad, a loving husband, and a great friend. He’s given so much to a nation of 62 million people. I hope he’s been savoring every moment of his success.”

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