"We will win the most important medal together, if the example of athletes with disabilities helps everyone to overcome prejudices and fears and to make our communities more welcoming and inclusive. This is the real gold medal"
Pope Francis, a soccer fan who has countless times stressed the beautiful potential in sports, said we should work together for the “real gold medal” as he expressed his best wishes for those involved in the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
After the general audience on this February 2, the Holy Father noted that the Winter Olympics begin February 4, and the Paralympics, a month later.
“Sport, with its universal language, can build bridges of friendship and solidarity between individuals and peoples of all cultures and religions,” he said.
A broadened motto
I therefore appreciate the fact that to the historic Olympic motto “Citius, Altius, Fortius” — that is, “faster, higher, stronger” — the International Olympic Committee has added the word “Communiter”, that is, “together”: so that the Olympic Games may bring about a more fraternal world. Together.
The real gold medal
The Pope had a special thought for those involved in the Paralympics.
We will win the most important medal together, if the example of athletes with disabilities helps everyone to overcome prejudices and fears and to make our communities more welcoming and inclusive. This is the real gold medal.
To refugee athletes
I also follow with attention and emotion the personal stories of refugee athletes. May their testimonies help to encourage civil societies to open up with ever greater confidence to all, leaving no one behind. I wish the great Olympic and Paralympic family a unique experience of human brotherhood and peace: blessed are the peacemakers!