I had just finished a holiday lecture "Can Sports Bring World Peace?" when news of Nelson Mandela's death was announced. In a fall course on sports and diplomacy at Occidental, I required students to watch the movie Invictus which depicts how Mandela as President made a choice to reach out to white South Africans, appealing to their love of rugby and the national team, the Springboks, just as he made a choice to seek reconciliation and inclusion rather than retribution and exclusion when he left Robben Island. It is one of the great moments in sports diplomacy. Choice matters in politics, as in sports, especially at crucial moments. President Obama, too, has made choices in his presidency and whether they've failed or succeeded, he has chosen to stand in the public arena.