Pope says Olympics help promote healthy attitude toward sports
Warning against excessive commercialisation of modern sports, Pope John Paul II said events like the Olympic Games are essential in promoting athletics that include the poor, motivate the young and "exclude no one".
The Olympics "should not give up their noble vocation of rekindling the ideals of social harmony, understanding and friendship" and can help resist the increasing commercialisation seen in some sports, he said.
The Holy Father made the comments on Friday in a message titled Sport and Tourism, released to mark the 25th World Day of Tourism on 27 September.
The message came a few days before the Olympic torch was scheduled to pass through Rome on its way to the start of the Olympic Games in Athens on 13 August. The Pope said the Christian attitude toward sports was outlined as early as biblical times. Sporting activities should involve a sense of sacrifice, a team spirit, respect for others, honesty and humility, he said.
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28 Jun 2004