Pope Francis, Thomas Bach

IOC president Thomas Bach meets Pope Francis (photos)

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International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach reportedly discussed the importance of sport in society and its contribution to building a more peaceful and better world in a private meeting with Pope Francis on Friday, according to the IOC.

Bach, the German elected as IOC president in September, stopped by the Vatican during a trip to Italy.

Here’s how the IOC described the meeting:

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.

Bach will present Pope Francis with the gold Olympic Order, the highest IOC award, on Saturday.

Here are photos of their meeting, via The Associated Press:

source: AP

source: AP

source: AP

Baseball, softball still have chance at 2020 Olympics, says IOC president

Watch NBC Sports’ Alpine skiing World Cup preview video

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NBC Sports will air coverage of 87 Alpine skiing races at 22 resorts across the globe this fall and winter, from October through March, in the final full season before the 2018 Olympics.

Highlights include fall and winter stops in the U.S. with races in Killington, Vt.; Beaver Creek, Colo.; Squaw Valley, Calif.; and the World Cup Finals in Aspen, Colo., in March.

Lindsey Vonn‘s highlighted World Cup stop will be downhill and super-G races in Lake Louise, Canada, the first weekend of December.

The world championships in February will be in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin will look to defend titles.


Skier goes airborne in World Cup opener (video)

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Canadian skier Phil Brown was fortunate to walk away from an airborne crash at the World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.

Brown failed to finish his first run, losing contact with the snow early on and falling hard onto his side.

He tweeted a video of the crash, with slow-motion replays, with a soundtrack of Irish singer Enya‘s “Only Time.”

The World Cup season continues with men’s and women’s slaloms in Levi, Finland, in three weeks.

MORE: Ted Ligety recovers to finish fifth in first race in 9 months