Thursday, June 13, 2019

Greetings for the Federation of Figure Skaters

At 12:10pm today (6:10am EDT), in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father, Pope Francis received in audience the members of the International Federation of Figure Skaters.

Greetings of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
for members of the International Federation of Figure Skaters

Dear friends,

I welcome all of you, members of the Council of the International Federation of Figure Skaters, and I thank your President for his kind words and greetings in the name of all of you.

The objective of your Federation is not only that of promoting skating on ice throughout the world, but also and above all that of allowing more and more people to experience the beauty of this sport. In fact, all sports are a cause and expression of joy: the joy of moving, the joy of being together, the joy for life and for the gifts that the Creator offers to us every day (Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit, 227 ). And this is true even for those who practice skating. It offers an exhilarating experience of life and freedom of movement, along with discipline training, teamwork and the pursuit of personal excellence.

Traditionally, skating is an inclusive sport, capable of overcoming social barriers and open to people of all ages. I would like to encourage your efforts to ensure that the joy of skating can also mark highly competitive events. As you strive to introduce more and more young people into sport, I trust that your guidance will help them, through competition, to mature as active members of society as a whole. The values of respect, courage, altruism, balance and self-control, learned in sport, are a precious preparation for a successful race in life. Sport, in a word, is always thought to be at the service of humanity.

With these sentiments, I offer my best wishes, accompanied by prayer, to you and your families, and together with all the members of the International Skating Federation. God bless you and your work! And I bless you, each of you, with God's blessing. Amen.
Original text in Italian

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