Special Olympians show world that ‘every person is a gift,’ pope says
The athletes of the Special Olympics witness to the world the beauty and value of every human life and the joy that comes from reaching a goal with the encouragement and support of others, Pope Francis said.
“Together, athletes and helpers show us that there are no obstacles or barriers which cannot be overcome,” the pope told representatives of the Special Olympics World Winter Games, which will take place in Austria between 14th and 25th March.
“You are a sign of hope for all who commit themselves to a more inclusive society,” the pope told the group on 16th February. “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.”
Pope Francis praised the passion and dedication of the Special Olympians as they train for their events, and said sports are good for everyone, physically and mentally.
“The constant training, which also requires effort and sacrifice, helps you to grow in patience and perseverance, gives you strength and courage and lets you acquire and develop talents which would otherwise remain hidden,” the pope told the athletes.
Picture: Pope Francis waves as he greet athletes and assistants preparing for the Special Olympics World Winter Games on 16th February. During the meeting at the Vatican, the pope said the Special Olympics demonstrate that “every life is precious, every person is a gift.” (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano, handout).Tags: Pope Francis, Special Olympics