Vatican has formed its own athletic team, there are 60 members so far, The Local Italy reported. Monsignor Melchor José Sánchez de Toca y Alameda was appointed a president of Vatican Athletics.
Vatican Athlete Team became the first Sports Association constituted in the Holy See, the team includes nuns, priests, Swiss Guards and other workers. Its president said at the launch that the Olympic Games were “the dream but not in the short term”.
The newly-formed Vatican Athletics team is aiming to compete in international competitions, including the Olympics. On Thursday, the team was officially launched after reaching a bilateral agreement with the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). Giovanni Malago, CONI president, praised the latest initiative at the Holy See, which already has football and cricket teams.
“The dream that we have often had is to see the Holy See flag among the delegations at the opening of the Olympic Games,” president of Vatican Athletics said. But in the immediate future, Vatican Athletics would like to be present at smaller competitions such as the Mediterranean Games.
According to Vatican News, it will be necessary to affiliate with other federations Monsignor Melchor José Sánchez de Toca y Alameda is sure this will happen, today the Holy See has “started a courageous and winning start up.”
CONI hails the newly-formed Vatican athlete team
The CONI welcomes forming another athlete team, the official agreement allows the team to take part in both domestic and internationally sanctioned sportive events. Moreover, under the deal, athletes from the Vatican got access to Italian national coaching and medical facilities.
Vatican pharmacist and runner Michela Ciprietti said she welcomed the initiative as “sport is the means of bringing people together.”