The Vatican has launched a track team which is officially a member of the Italian track association and is looking to become a member of the IAAF. Sports Illustrated reports, “About 60 Holy See runners — Swiss Guards, priests, nuns, pharmacists and even a 62-year-old professor who works in the Vatican’s Apostolic Library — are the first accredited members of Vatican Athletics.”

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The team is hoping to compete in the competitions like the Games of the Small States of Europe and the Mediterranean Games. The Games of the Small States is open the European countries with less than 1 million people. The 2019 games will take place in Podgorica, Montenegro and include athletics, swimming, judo, shooting, tennis, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, beach volleyball and bowling.

Vatican representatives said during the press conference that as far as the Olympic Games are concerned, “we would like to see the small flag of the Vatican in the parade of the teams during the opening ceremony.”

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Among other sports, Vatican City also has a soccer team. The squad represents the Vatican in international matches and its members are primarily Swiss Guards and Museum guards. The track team’s first official race will reportedly be La Corsa di Miguel which is a 10K race in Rome.  

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