On January 10, the Vatican presented its national athletics team, reports The Guardian.
The team includes about 60 athletes, among them priests, guards (they are recruited from the citizens of Switzerland, but they automatically receive the citizenship of the Vatican) and administrative workers. The oldest athlete of the small state is 62 years old, he is a member of the Apostolic Library. We recall that the official population of the Vatican is about one thousand people.
The national athletics team became the first official sports organization in the city-state. The team has become part of the Italian Athletics Federation, which will allow it to perform at official competitions.
The athletes of the Holy See have already planned to participate in the Games of the small states of Europe (sports competitions for countries with a population of less than a million people), which will be held in Montenegro in May 2019, and in the Mediterranean games (sports competitions for states located in the Mediterranean basin) will be held in Algeria in 2021.
In the future, the Vatican national team plans to join the International Athletics Federation, so the flag of the Holy See will be seen at the next Olympic Games.
The Vatican has repeatedly stated that sport is a way of dialogue and a way to achieve peace and solidarity. Now these words are supported by deed. The Holy See authorities emphasize that the main task of the athletes is participation in competitions, and not the achievement of high results.