Trapped inside the hard, forbidding walls of his jail cell, with barely space to move, did Nelson Mandela the prisoner ever dream that things would turn out quite this well? Surely, even the world's most inspirational and famous optimist must be thrilled and perhaps a little surprised — who isn't? — that South Africa is proving to be such a shining ambassador for itself.
Talk about a country having a banner sporting year. First, hosting a football World Cup that radiated warmth and joy. Then, giving golf a new champion with an alphabet-soup name who came out of nowhere to win the British Open.
How deliciously intriguing that a player nurtured under the African sun proved best able to handle Scotland's howling gales.
Do, however, spare a thought for the engraver who had to carve "Louis Oosthuizen" onto the base of that celebrated silver trophy. Takes up more space than Tiger Woods. And yet, in four short days that transformed him from who? to the
name on everyone's lips, Oosthuizen ensured that the entire golfing world now knows that his tongue-tripping jumble of vowels and consonants is pronounced WUHST-hy-zen.