Samaranch salutes Pope for supporting sport
President of the International Olympic Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch, paid tribute to Pope John Paul II's appreciation of sport as a sport as a positive force in the formation of the whole person.
Speaking before a crowd of 70,000 at Rome's Olympic Stadium, he said that the Holy Father has always valued the integral part sport plays in the development of body and spirit.
The Pope presided over the celebration of Mass before watching a demonstration soccer game.
During his homily, John Paul II emphasised the "great importance that sports has today, as it can favour youths' affirmation of important values, such as loyalty, perseverance, friendship, knowing how to share, solidarity."
He described the Jubilee of Athletes as a call to conversion for athletes which requires an 'examination of conscience'.
"It is important to articulate and promote all the positive aspects of sports, but it is also a duty to analyse the situations of transgression, into which it can fall."