Sochi, February 6, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia blessed Olympic athletes and prayed for victory on Wednesday.
"I wanted to meet with you today in order to pray for your success, for your wealth and so that God grants you spiritual strength in a difficult moment of the competition. And when you go to the start, remember my words, concentrate and gain the inner spiritual strength, which will be the formula for your success," the patriarch said prior to the prayer in the Church of the Image Not Made by the Hands of Jesus Christ in Sochi.
Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Moldovan athletes have gathered in the church.
Patriarch Kirill said he wished that the medal stands are taken "by representatives of our brotherly nations."
"I believe that God will help many of you to pass the Olympic race decently," he said. Sport does not just help physical improvement of a person but also influences inner state and "resolves an important issue, which has direct connection to such a notion as human happiness," the patriarch said.
A person can not be truly happy if he or she has no inner strength and a rich inner life, Patriarch Kirill said.
"Athletes are well aware, when exerting all the strength and aspiring to win the competition, that not just technical training, necessary equipment but also inner state of the spirit that determines to a large extent the ability of a person to win," he said.
Patriarch Kirill also toured on Wednesday sport facilities of the Olympic coastal cluster in the Olympic park and met with volunteers sent to the Olympics by church organizations.