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Approvo
Sabato, 24 Giugno 2017

Pope Francis hugs international swimming

“Water is life and without water life would not exist”. These are the words of His Holiness the Pope who welcomed in Sala Clementina of Palazzo Apostolico – The Vatican - a delegation of “Trofeo Sette Colli” headed by the president of the Italian Swimming Federation, of the European Aquatics and candidate to the FINA Presidency, Mr. Paolo Barelli, and made of 260 persons among national and international champions, small and big athletes representing different clubs, as well as managers of the swimming sector. “Through the contact with the water you learn to repulse everything that pollutes, both in sport and in life” Pope Francis continued, defining sport as “a celebration, not without contents, since it teaches values, which are always more necessary in a civil society like ours, which is defined as liquid, without any stable points of reference. Your sport is carried out in the water, but it is not liquid; it is rather stable and it requires constant commitment and strength”. His Holiness stressed the values of swimming and of the body” which is to be taken care of and which shall not be idolized; the need for an inner dimension and the search for a meaning in what you do; the strength and the courage in resisting to fatigue; the clear view of which harbor to look for in life and on how to achieve it; the value of authenticity, which recalls transparency, clearness and inner cleaning”. The private hearing started with the speech of president Barelli, who, paraphrasing the Holy Bible, defined sport and swimming as “a bridge against all walls”, “image of life, means for the formation of the human being and a fundamental element of civilization”. Afterwards the champions Federica Pellegrini and Gregorio Paltrinieri gave to His Holiness the Pope some gifts on behalf of the Italian Swimming Federation: a white swimming cap with the writing “Pope Francis”, two bathing suits with the colors of The Vatican, white and yellow, and a full kit of the Italian national swimming team.
“My relationship with the faith is very close. I received great teachings from by parents. It was a great experience not only on a personal level, but also for the whole swimming community”, stated Federica Pellegrini in an interview with ANSA at the end of the hearing with Pope Francis. His Holiness – who was extremely available – allowed the athletes to take some selfies and stayed after the hearing to talk to the athletes.
“We asked him if it was possible to make selfies and when he told us “yes”, we were very happy; it was an intense emotion for the whole swimming community” stressed Gregorio Paltrinieri.
Among the athletes, who attended the hearing, besides the whole Italian national swimming team, there were Olympic, World and European champions, as the Australians Mack Horton, James Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy, the Swedish Michelle Coleman, the German Marco Koch, the Brazilians Cesar Cielo and Bruno Fratus, the Danish Pernielle Blume and Rikke Moller Pedersen, the French Charlotte Bonnet, the Japanese Daiya Seto, the Dutch Ranomi Kromowidjodjo and Femke Heemskerk, the Hungarian Boglarka Kapas and Szusanna Jakabos, the British Siobhan-Marie O'Connor, the Ukrainian Andrij Govorov, and the Czech Jan Micka. 

photos by L'Osservatore Romano

FLASH NEWS 54°SETTECOLLI