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Culture & Religion

MEETING of RIMINI/ Sports and Performances: A Taste of the Infinite



In the Sports Village, evidence of the human heart, pushing us to desire great things, can be seen everywhere. In the face of a 6-year-old girl learning to ride a bicycle, or in the eyes of an 11-year-old boy who begins to pick up speed on his skates, one can see that the entire person’s thirst for an ideal has come alive. Participation in games and sports offers the opportunity to seek solutions to particular problems, and in this process, the heart awakens and discovers new frontiers, further shores beyond what it had originally imagined possible; the guides at the exhibit on Mathematics have another way to illustrate this same observation! This glimpse of the Beyond, while one’s entire mind and body are fully engaged, offers a taste of the Infinite.


Lest anyone should believe that sports at the Meeting are only for children, numerous sports competitions -- a bicycle race that begins in Rimini and includes a pass through the Republic of San Marino, a triathlon (as well as a mini triathlon for kids), basketball and fencing (and even rugby) tournaments, and a 6 Km race -- are offered throughout the week; and among the many speakers, sports commentators provide lectures on the history of sporting events, as well as about the intersection between sports and life, to packed audiences. Here, sports receives the full dignity of a cultural endeavor with the potential to provoke and challenge the human heart.


In addition to sports, the Meeting in Rimini includes a “Villaggio Ragazzi” or children’s village: a vast hall (as large as the one for sports), which houses exhibits, puppet theaters, games for smaller children, craft and art areas for both free art and special projects led by volunteers, on-going clown shows and plays, as well as musical entertainment and sing-alongs. At these performances, the children incline forward in their chairs, even sometimes creeping out of their seats altogether to arrive almost at the feet of the performers. With their curious gazes fixed on a magician’s hat or trying to penetrate into the clown’s secret box, they do not attempt to hide their expectation and trust that something amazing will suddenly appear.