· Vatican City ·

In the presence of Saint Pius x between 1905 and 1908

When the Paralympic Games were held at the Vatican

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27 August 2021
“The news” is not that between 1905 and 1908, the “world” athletic championships were held at the Vatican and that, on Sundays, Roman parishes organized sports competitions in the presence of Pius X. “The news” is that, at the beginning of the 1900s, athletes with disabilities competed in the Vatican. Forty years before the start of the paralympic movement, which rose from the ashes of World War II, came a project that could be relaunched today through Athletica Vaticana: one century later, following Francis’ testimony, the first step of Athletica Vaticana — the Pope’s team — was to open a paralympics section. In September 1908 there were amputee athletes like Baldoni, who competed in speed events (victory for the Irish, for the record). There were deaf athletes and nine young blind people from the Istituto Sant’Alessio in the high ...

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