Holy Shit: Vatican Track Team Aiming for Olympics

Fine, it doesn't seem like Pope Francis is going to be on the squad. But you know he's rooting for them—and that's one holy cheerleader.
January 10, 2019, 9:27pm
Pope Francis busting out a sprint.
Photo by Ettore Ferrari—EPA

Listen, guys. Nuns and priests can be athletes too, OK? Just because you think of wrist-slapping elementary school teachers doesn't mean that they're all hobbled and in their 80s. With that in mind, about 60 runners are on board for the official track team of the Vatican—and their big dream is to make the Olympics, according to the Associated Press.

As of Thursday, the Vatican has officially teamed up with the Italian Olympic Committee to launch this divine squad of runners, which includes not only the priests and nuns, but also the likely jacked Swiss Guard, pharmacists, and even a 62-year-old librarian. All pulled from the city-state's population of 1,000.


While all the runners are technically a part of the Italian track association, they are officially accredited by Vatican Athletics. During a press conference to announce the launch of the team, members were reportedly wearing navy warm-up suits with the Holy See's crossed keys on them. God, just think of how dope those official uniforms will be.

According to the AP, this is all in part with the Vatican's "long-standing promotion of sport as an instrument of dialogue, peace and solidarity." The Vatican has fielded an unofficial national soccer teams that play other tiny countries, there is a Clericus Cup soccer tournament played among Roman seminaries, and there's even a cricket team that toured Britain. But the track team marks the first officially recognized team within Vatican City.

And although they acknowledge they don't have a prayer to do it in the short term, they are reaching for the stars.

“The dream that we have often had is to see the Holy See flag among the delegations at the opening of the Olympic Games,” said Monsignor Melchor Jose Sanchez de Toca y Alameda, team president and the head of the Vatican’s sports department in the culture ministry.

If the 100m doesn't end up being their best event, they'll probably slay at the steeplechase.