Canoe athletes preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics paddle behind an Olympic sign Aug. 2 in Rio de Janeiro. CNS photo/Sergio Moraes, Reuters

Go for the solidarity, Pope tells Olympic athletes

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  • August 3, 2016

VATICAN CITY – A more important prize than a gold medal is up for grabs at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro: a chance to experience solidarity and contribute to the realization that all people are members of one human family, Pope Francis said.

Speaking in Portuguese at his weekly general audience Aug. 3, Pope Francis offered special prayers and greetings to the people of Rio and to the athletes and fans who will gather in the Brazilian city for the games Aug. 5-21.

"In a world thirsting for peace, tolerance and reconciliation," he said, "I wish that the spirit of the Olympic Games would inspire all — participants and spectators — to fight 'the good fight' and end the race together, desiring as a prize not a medal, but something much more precious: the creation of a civilization where there reigns solidarity founded on the recognition that we are all members of one human family, no matter the differences of culture, skin colour or religion."

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God bless all athletes and their Brazilian hosts.

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