August 1, 2009.
Pope Benedict XVI has said sports can be a training ground for human and spiritual values.
At a meeting with some of the world’s top swimmers, he said that they are an example for the society because through sports can build a more fraternal and united world.
"With your competitions you offer the world an impressive show of discipline and humanity of artistic beauty and tenacious will. You show what horizons lead to the vitality of youth, when you persevere despite the fatigue of hard training and you gladly accepted the many sacrifices and hardships."
Benedict XVI noted that considering the great results of this great world we can see the potential with which God has endowed the human body and the goals of perfection that can be achieved.
Among those present at the audience were the German swimmer Paul Biederman, who broke the Michael Phelps wons world record in 200 meter free style. Also present Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini, the first woman to swim 400 meters freestyle in less than four minutes.
The swimmers gave the Pope a shirt with the signature of the members of the German team and a kit of the Italian group. He also received the cap and the mascot of the world championship.