Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
4 minute read
24 Jul 2020
8:18 am

Full circle: South Africa’s 116-year history at the Olympic Games

Wesley Botton

While the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics will not take place on Saturday as planned, with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing organisers to postpone the event until next year, the delay offers a chance to reflect on South Africa's rich history at the Games.

Josia Thugwane on the podium at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Picture: Getty Images

Since two untrained athletes made a brave but lonely debut in the men's marathon in 1904, the country has had a 116-year roller coaster ride at the quadrennial multi-sport spectacle. These are some of SA's most memorable Olympic moments.   Unofficial debut (St Louis, 1904)   Though it would be another four years before the nation would enter an official team for the first time, two South African athletes competed at the 1904 Games. Len Taunyane and Jan Mashiani, who were part of a Boer War exhibit at the World's Fair which was being held in St Louis at the...