With this enthusiasm, Pope Francis was welcomed by 150 special Olympics athletes from Italy. They will fly to Los Angeles at the end of July to take part in the Special Olympics World Summer Games.
As a gift, they gave the Pope a soccer ball and the torch that will travel to the U.S as part of the Special Olympics.
Even though she seemed a bit nervous, this young athlete managed to share her personal motto with the Pope.
"I'm in it to win it, but if I can't, I can at least try and give it my all.”
The Pope then added that sports isn't just about fun. It's also a way to overcome challenges and to work together. He then called on them to never lose sight of the underlying purpose of sports.
"You all know this well. You've turned sports into an experience of growth, starting from you condition of frailty and limitation. In fact, the Special Olympics includes in its statutes, that its athletes need to have different abilities that will ultimately improve their lives.”
Not excluding others from sports, is also a must, said the Pope. Before heading out, he wished them all good luck in the Summer Olympics.