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Vatican City targets Olympics after launching athletics team

The Vatican has launched an official athletics team with the aim of competing in international competitions – including the Olympics – as part of an agreement signed with the Italian Olympic Committee.

Vatican Athletics, which has 60 accredited initial members, is now a part of the Italian track association and is looking to join the International Association of Athletics Federations.

While the Olympics is the ultimate goal, the Vatican team will initially look to compete in the Games of the Small States of Europe — open to states with fewer than one million people — and the Mediterranean Games.

“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 José Sánchez de Toca y Alameda, team president and the head of the Vatican’s sports department in the culture ministry.