VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has urged the athletes on Wednesday to to fight the “good fight” and not to aim for medals, but solidarity in a world “sick with cruelty” at Rio Olympics 2016.
“I hope that the spirit of the Olympics can inspire everyone, both participants and spectators, to fight the ‘good fight’ and finish the race together,” he said, citing a phrase from the bible about unwavering faith and the struggle against evil.
Pope Francis also went on to say that the aim of the athletes should not be to win the medal. “The aim should be to win a prize more precious than a medal: the realization of a civilisation in which solidarity reigns, based on the awareness that we are all one family, regardless of differences in culture, skin colour or religion”.
The 79-year-old Argentine was speaking two days before the Olympic opening ceremony in Brazil. “The world thirsts for solidarity, tolerance and reconciliation,” he said as he greeted Portuguese-speaking pilgrims during his weekly general audience at the Vatican.
He said he hope that the games would help Brazilians to “overcome difficult times and engage in teamwork to build a more just and safer country, betting on a future full of hope and joy”.