How is L’Arche like the Olympics?

Love them or hate them, or perhaps you don’t really mind either way – but the Olympics happen anyway! This July, it is the turn of Paris, France to host this extraordinary moment of colour, pride, effort, diversity and shared support. Not to mention fantastic teamwork!

Values at the heart of L’Arche, which we try to express in over 150 communities across the world. And not just once every 4 years, but every day through our shared community life, so that each person can reach their personal best- a winner in their own life -and an inspiration to others too.

As usual, this summer, the Paralympics take place immediately afterwards, welcoming athletes from round the world with physical disabilities. The rules aim to ensure that, whatever the specific differences in disability, each person has a fair chance of winning.

Again, spot the resonance with L’Arche: we dare to imagine a world where, no matter what your ability, or disability, your colour, country of origin, belief or social background, you have an absolute equality of dignity. Valued just as much as anyone else, but uniquely, because you are you.

Also this summer, as every year, Special Olympics competitions will be held for athletes with an intellectual disability across the world.

Read about the energy and determination shown by Christian Gerro and other L’Arche competitors last summer in Berlin.

The Olympics, Paralympics, and Special Olympics: that spirit is not a million miles from what we wrote in the new Charter we adopted in 2023: through unity in diversity, strength in fragility, and freedom in interdependence, we discover our belonging.

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