Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday eulogized Nelson Mandela as a "giant of history" who earned his place in posterity through struggle, shrewdness and by showing the power of political action. Obama painted Mandela as a testament to how people can reach for change by fighting for their ideals and employing reason and argument to match personal sacrifice. "It is hard to eulogize any man ... how much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation towards justice," Obama said, after being introduced to wild cheers from a rain-sodden crowd in a Soweto stadium during Mandela's memorial service. Obama was joined at the ceremony by three other former US presidents, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who sat sheltered from the teeming rain along with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
Reigning Winter Olympic men's figure skating champion Evan Lysacek announced on Tuesday he will not defend his title at the Sochi Games in February because of a hip injury. The 28-year-old American, who has not competed since winning gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games, tore the labrum in his left hip in August and despite extensive treatment the injury became more painful in the past month. "The proudest moments of my life have been representing the United States in the last two Winter Olympics. In Vancouver, Lysacek became the first American to win the Olympic men's gold since Brian Boitano in 1988.