International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach met Pope Francis today at the Vatican, where the two leaders discussed the importance of sport in society and its contribution to building a more peaceful and better world.
In a private audience, the Pope stressed the contribution that the Olympic movement can make to peace building and mutual understanding, and the values that sport can deliver.
President Bach emphasised sport's ability to build bridges and the example that the Olympic Games and especially the Athlete’s Village can give to the world in showing how different cultures can live together in harmony.
The Pope also congratulated President Bach on his election as President of the IOC – which took place in his home town of Buenos Aires in September.
President Bach will present Pope Francis with the Olympic Order in gold on Saturday during a ceremony at the Vatican City attended by members of the European Olympic Committees (EOC), who are holding their General Assembly in Rome from 22 to 23 November.
The President is also scheduled to meet Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta.
Earlier, the President delivered a welcome address to the EOC General Assembly, where he outlined his vision for the Olympic Movement and reported on his activities during his first two months as IOC President.