Siya Kolisi named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2024

Siya Kolisi named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2024

Time Magazine named Springbok captain Siya Kolisi as one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2024.

The 100-year-old American news magazine released the annual list on Wednesday. Kolisi's story - from the struggles of the Zwide township to Rugby World Cup glory in 2019 - captured the sporting world's attention four years ago. However, the flanker's humility, charity exploits off the field and his recent leading of the Springboks to a record fourth World Cup title have made him a global icon.

Kolisi's words - and actions as Bok captain - during difficult times back home have provided many South Africans with a light in the darkness.

Fittingly, his bio for the publication was written by much-loved comedian Trevor Noah.

"You can't really separate South Africa's history from rugby," writes Noah.

"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.

"Siya Kolisi, as the captain of the national rugby team, is right at the center. 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 savouring every moment of his success."

Kolisi was among just five athletes on the list, including Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Spain Women striker Jenni Hermosoa and WNBA superstar A'ja Wilson.

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