Here is a lovely little Associate Press feature about an element of the pope’s life that has been hard to imagine in the past decade or so of sickness and decline — John Paul II the athlete. The story also includes a reference to what may be the first miracle of his papacy: “He has been a terrific sportsman,” said George Weigel, author of a biography of John Paul. A key clip: “As a young man he was a very active soccer player, a skier, a hiker. As a young priest he became very involved in a ministry to university students built around hiking, skiing and kayaking. . . . The first 15 years of his pontificate he took breaks to go skiing, and the miracle about that was the Italian paparazzi actually left him alone.” Anyone see any good photos from this era?