A 13-year-old boarding pass fell out of my copy of Hunter S Thompson’s Hey Rube on Thursday morning. Which could well mean that it has been 13 years since I last opened Thompson’s collection of columns for ESPN. Or it could mean that it has been a very long time since I reached page 218 and stopped reading. The boarding pass was for a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Sydney, dated March 29, 2006. It was the start of my flight home from the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, a journey that involved the long haul from Sydney to Johannesburg. SAA once flew that long skip over oceans and Australia, but then gave it up when it realised that most South Africans headed that way were stopping off in Perth. Those were a good Games for SA. They finished fifth overall in the medal table. The swimming team brought home almost a dozen of the 38 medals won. There were names to watch at that Games. The late Burry Stander rode in the mountain bike race, finishing 10th at the age of 19. Four-time Tour de ...

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