Sette Colli Swimmers Meet Pope Francis At The Vatican


  • Friday, June 23rd – Sunday, June 25th
  • Stadio del Nuoto, Rome
  • Prelims at 9am local/Finals at 6:30pm local (MEZS, UTC +2)
  • LCM
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  • Results

While in Rome competing at the 54th Sette Colli International Swim Meeting, several elite swimmers were able to travel to the Vatican and meet Pope Francis. after today’s heats.

Gathered together at the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis spoke to the athletes, organizers and sponsors of the event, saying, “Your competitiveness, your racing, your living in contact with water, can also be a contribution to a different ‘culture of water’: water is life – without water there is no life – and to talk about life is to talk about God, the origin and source of life. Even our Christian life begins with the sign of water, with Baptism.”

National record holder and Olympians Federica Pellegrini and Gregorio Paltrinieri brought a special racing kit as a gift to the Pope, complete with Vatican colors of white and yellow, as well as a cap donned with the name ‘Papa Francesco.’

Below are photos from various swimmers’ social media accounts:

?? #papafrancesco

A post shared by Gregorio Paltrinieri (@greg_palt) on

What a day in Rome?! I got to meet the Pope and shake his hand. Tick that off the bucket list ✔

A post shared by James Magnussen (@james.magnussen) on

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Impressive Verrazsto in the 400 medley 4.07.47 with a monster combo back-breast.


Luckily i followed the results on their website cause SwimSwam is not covering it…..except the Pope


That’s a fantastic PB, especially at the end of the season.


Hungary could have a huge World Champs: Kenderesi for the 200fl in my opinion, too. Looks in supreme shape. Nice to see Kromo go a 53.0. She really is back to 2012 shape and remains my best bet after Sjostrom.

Would not have bet on Grainger being top Brit in 200 free, but he has all the tools and should be faster than the 1.47s he’s stuck in – 49s 100fr, 3.45s 400fr, great technique & skills. He really should be looking for 1.46low. After Guy & Scott, I dont know who swims 4×200.


Disappointed .I was hoping to see Frederica donned in a fetching black outfit & mantilla . This is a large boy in a polo top & trainers .

I am sure Rica could compete with Ivanka Melania & the sadly uncommented on Sophie Trudeau who were all rather outstanding . I am not a Catholic but I like the Vatican Occasion outfits . Right up to the best Steampunk .


o boy holy water to swim in.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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