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Pope receives Special Olympics athletes, speaks of joy of sports

February 17, 2017

Pope Francis received a group of participants in the Special Olympics World Winter Games and spoke about the joy of athletics.

“In a way, at the heart of all sporting activity is joy: the joy of exercising, of being together, of being alive and rejoicing in the gifts the Creator gives us each day,” the Pope said during the audience, which took place in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on February 16.

He added, “Seeing the smile on your faces and the great happiness in your eyes when you have done well in an event—for the sweetest victory is when we surpass ourselves—we realize what true and well-deserved joy feels like!”

The Pope also spoke about the importance of a culture of inclusion:

Together, athletes and helpers show us that there are no obstacles or barriers which cannot be overcome. You are a sign of hope for all who commit themselves to a more inclusive society. Every life is precious, every person is a gift and inclusion enriches every community and society. This is your message for the world, for a world without borders, which excludes no one.

 
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