Pope urges athletes to be "good sports"

Sport is much more than just about getting results, Pope Benedict told members of the Austrian alpine ski team.

Speaking German, the Holy Father told the athletes that "when sport is practiced in the right spirit, and with respect for dignity, it helps to promote the development of the person," the The Independent Catholic News reported.

"Sport helps man to consider his own capacities as a talent and his life as a gift of God," Pope Benedict said.

"Even when sport is practiced at high levels, it is important to maintain an inner harmony between body and spirit in order not to reduce it to a mere search for results."

The Holy Father enumerated a series of virtues which must always characterize sporting activity: tenacity, a spirit of sacrifice, interior and exterior discipline, as well as a sense of justice, awareness of one's own limits and a respect for others.

"All virtues for which you must train yourselves in daily life."

The Pope added that sports men and women can be role models for the young

In a period marked by a loss of values and a lack of orientation, athletes can provide powerful motivations to work for good in the various areas of life, from the family to the workplace."

Pope:Sport is about much more than winning, ICN October 9, 2007

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The Holy See

Pope underlines value of sport in spiritual formation
Pope suggests sport can build respectful society

10 Oct 2007