- May 30, 2020
Sports can offer a unique witness of unity that can build a “bridge of peace” between men and women of different religions and cultures and promote solidarity, Pope Francis said.
The Rhode Island Special Olympics is the latest major sporting event to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving athletes heartbroken but hopeful as they look ahead to competing and sharing their gifts with the state once again.
On Thursday the Vatican debuted a new sports association, with a humanitarian focus and the eventual dream of representing the Vatican in the Olympics.
Pope Francis addressed Special Olympics athletes with disabilities, meeting in Rome for a ‘Unified Football’ tournament – soccer in the USA – in Rome. He praised the initiative as one that can foster “inclusion and involvement,” and called attention to the how sports are a “universal language” that can overcome prejudices and differences.
“Together, athletes and helpers show us that there are no obstacles or barriers which cannot be overcome,” Pope Francis told representatives of the Special Olympics World Winter Games. “You are a sign of hope for all who commit themselves to a more inclusive society.”