Photo by Huffington Post

As the world mourned the death of former South African President and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela on Thursday, athletes were among those expressing their sorrow at the news. Mixed with the sadness over the passing of the 95-year-old icon was admiration for his singular, positive impact on world history.

Mandela, a boxer in his youth and fan throughout his life, believed in the unifying power of sport but clearly the world of sports also believed in him.

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