Polish priests hit the slopes

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Polish priests hit the slopes

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In Wisla, southern Poland, there is chatter on the chairlifts.

Point of view

"It's unbecoming for a cardinal to ski badly."

Pope John Paul II Former Pope

The skiers they are carrying to the top of the slopes are no ordinary adrenalin seekers: they are priests and seminarians, who have gathered to compete in the 21st annual Pope John Paul II Skiing Cup.

The former Pope was himself a dedicated skier, once overheard to have said: "It's unbecoming for a cardinal to ski badly."

The idea was that priests should not only give an example of how to pray, but how to relax, and to enter into honest competition.

Over time, the event was opened up to the laity of the parishes, and in previous years, priests of other denominations have taken part.

This year the oldest competitor is Father Wladyslaw Nowobilski, who is 76 years' old.

Cassocks are optional.