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Pope hopes Olympic Games 'sign of hope' in pandemic

The Games opened officially on Friday in a nearly empty stadium

AFP, Vatican City

AFP, Vatican City

Published: July 25, 2021 04:44 PM GMT
Pope hopes Olympic Games 'sign of hope' in pandemic
Japan's badminton Olympic gold medalist, Ayaka Takahashi, holds the Olympic Torch after lighting the flame at the Olympic Cauldron at Yume on Ohashi Bridge after the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Tokyo, on July 23, 2021. (Photo: Rob Carr / POOL /AFP)

Pope Francis said Sunday he hopes the Tokyo Olympics, which opened Friday, will be a sign of hope and "universal brotherhood" during the coronavirus pandemic raging around the world.

"In this period of the pandemic, let these games be a sign of hope, a sign of universal brotherhood and of a healthy competitive spirit," the pontiff said at the end of the Angelus prayer.

"May God bless the organizers, the athletes and all those who are collaborating for this great celebration of sport," he told the faithful gathered on Saint Peter's Square.

The Games opened officially on Friday in a nearly empty stadium after being postponed for a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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