rio de janeiro

Gymnast keeps rosary -- a gift from her mom -- close when she competes

U.S. gymnast Simone Biles competed in the women's individual all-around final during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro Aug. 11. Biles won 4 gold medals and 1 bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO — U.S. Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Simone Biles says when she travels, she sometimes takes with her a statue of St. Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes, and she also carries a rosary her mother gave her.

Biles, who won gold in the women's gymnastics all-around competition Aug. 11 and helped lead the U.S. women to a team gold Aug. 9, made those comments to Us Weekly.

World record-holder swimmer Katie Ledecky still says 'a prayer -- or two -- before any race'

Katie Ledecky reacted after setting a new world record in the 400-meter freestyle final Aug. 7 during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

WASHINGTON -- Four years ago, at age 15, swimmer Katie Ledecky won Olympic gold in the women's 800-meter freestyle.

Long process pays off for Olympic volleyball player Murphy Troy

Murphy Troy is part of a third-generation St. Louis University High School family, following the footsteps of his grandfather, father and uncles. His older brother, Phineas, went there as well.

Pope commissions young people to be missionaries without borders

Pilgrims pack Copacabana beach for the World Youth Day closing Mass in Rio de Janeiro July 28. In attendance was an estimated 3 million people -- one of the largest crowds in the history of World Youth Day.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Pope Francis commissioned some 3 million young
people to join forces and form what could be called Missionaries Without

"Where does Jesus send us?" he asked World Youth Day pilgrims July 28.
"There are no borders, no limits: He sends us to everyone."

On the white sand of Copacabana beach -- under partly sunny skies, a
relief after days of rain in Rio -- Pope Francis celebrated the closing
Mass for the July 23-28 celebration of World Youth Day Rio.

Although retired Pope Benedict XVI had chosen the theme for the

Argentines flock to Rio cathedral to see their cardinal-turned-pope

Argentine pilgrim Florencia Aldretes waits with others for Pope Francis to arrive at the Cathedral of San Sebastian in Rio de Janeiro July 25. The pope made a special appearance at the cathedral to talk with World Youth Day pilgrims from his homeland. Aldretes called having an Argentine pope the "best present that we could get here on earth."

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The streets surrounding the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Sebastian were filled with a sea of blue and white flags. The Argentines had come to town.

All without exception said they were there for one reason only. "To see Pope Francis," yelled Florencia Aldretes of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires.

Aldretes and 49 of her friends knew that they were so far down the line that chances were almost zero of getting into the cathedral, where the pope had asked to speak to his fellow Argentines July 25.

At Rio hospital, pope offers drug addicts an embrace and a challenge

Pope Francis greets a young man as he meets with patients, family and staff at St. Francis of Assisi Hospital in Rio de Janeiro July 24. The pope addressed a group of recovering drug addicts offering them a message of compassion and hope as well as a cal l to self-determination.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Pope Francis addressed a group of recovering drug addicts in a working-class neighborhood of Rio, offering them a message of compassion and hope as well as a call to self-determination.

At the Hospital of St. Francis of Assisi, which he called a "shrine of human suffering," he told patients they were the "flesh of Christ," like the leper embraced by the institution's patron saint in a crucial step toward his conversion. He also said those struggling with drug dependency deserve the "closeness, affection and love" of all society.

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