Moscow, February 1, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia conveyed his wishes to athletes, who are leaving for Korea to participate in the Olympics and urged each of them to remember about their personal responsibility before the country.
"I talked to His Holiness the patriarch on Sunday, it was a very warm meeting. His fatherly words and patriarchal blessing to athletes in a difficult situation is to remember about their personal responsibility and dignity and to give such an example not only at sport grounds that has always characterized Russians as people who are ready to bear hardships and to show their best qualities in sorrow and in joy," spiritual father of Russian Olympic athletes Archpriest Andrey Alexeyev told in his interview with Interfax-Religion.
The priest noted that the patriarch urged athletes to unity, "to strengthen their forces and remember that we represent a great country."
"It is a great responsibility for everyone, for me too," the priest said.
He told that it was uncomfortable and unpleasant for each athlete to learn that they would participate in the Olympic Games under a neutral flag, but Russians had to overcome various difficulties in history and got used to them.
"We need to pull ourselves together and go to do what we have to do," the spiritual father of the Olympic team said before leaving for Korea.