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June 14, 2013 | SOI General: Headquarters

Pope Welcomed to the Special Olympics Team

By Tim Shriver

Pope Francis encountered Special Olympics Italy athlete Lorenzo e Giovanni, who gave him a Special Olympics hat and T-shirt.

Pope Francis is now an honorary member of the Special Olympics team!! And he has the T-shirt to prove it. All we need now is to get him some coaching so he can compete! 


Congratulations to our team in Italy for bringing the Pope into our family. These pictures remind me of the many times that Pope John Paul II welcomed our athletes and wrote of the power of the Special Olympics movement. 

And of course, these Popes join the leaders of many religious communities around the world who have seen in our movement a kind of evangelization of a common human spirit, a belief in the fundamental dignity of all creation, a commitment to join with people of good will the world over in creating communities of belonging for all. 

While we are enormously grateful for Pope Francis’ meeting with our athletes, we are also bold enough to think that he welcomed our athletes as peers in the spirit, fellow travelers along the road to a more welcoming and peaceful world.

About Tim Shriver: I am the Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics.

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