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 Post subject: Vatican launches athletics team and targets Olympics
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:43 pm 
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The Vatican has launched an athletics team with the aim of competing in international competitions – including the Olympics – as part of an agreement signed with the Italian Olympic Committee (Coni).

About 60 Holy See runners – Swiss Guards, priests, nuns, pharmacists and a 62-year-old professor who works in the Vatican’s Apostolic Library – are the first accredited members of Vatican Athletics. It is the latest iteration of the Holy See’s longstanding promotion of sport as an instrument of dialogue, peace and solidarity.

Because of the agreement with Coni, the team are now a part of the Italian track association and are looking to join the International Association of Athletics Federations. It is hoping to compete in international competitions, including the Games of the Small States of Europe – open to states with fewer than one million people – and the Mediterranean Games. The Vatican aims to sign similar agreements with the Italian Paralympic committee.

“The dream that we have often had is to see the Holy See flag among the delegations at the opening of the Olympic Games,” said Monsignor Melchor Jose Sánchez de Toca y Alameda, the team president and the head of the Vatican’s sports department in the culture ministry. He said that was neither a short-term nor medium-term goal, and that for now the Vatican was looking to participate in competitions that had cultural or symbolic value. “We might even podium,” he added.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/ ... ttee#img-3

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