The 32nd Olympic Games Begin in Tokyo, Japan under Pandemic Restrictions and a Canceled Pastoral Program for Athletes - VIDEO
The Olympic Games has begun in Tokyo, Japan on Friday, July 23rd, 2021. The world's best athletes are going to compete amid the COVID-19 pandemic which was delayed for 1 year.
Fireworks (see Video below) lit up the night sky on Friday as the 32nd Olympic Games in Tokyo started. They will last until August 8th.
There were fewer than 1,000 people in attendance for the opening which included the Japanese Emperor Naruhito.
There are more than 11,300 athletes from 207 nations competing in these games for 339 medals for 33 sports. Five new sports have also been introduced. There is also a team of refugee athletes competing under the Olympic flag.
The Tokyo Archdiocese canceled it pastoral programme for athletes due to pandemic Ahead of the opening ceremony for the 32nd Olympic Games. Japan has recorded 848,000 infections and more than 15,000 deaths which has forced the revision of all programmes on the calendar.
Among the events, planned by a special diocesan Olympic Committee, was an international Mass to be celebrated in the local cathedral and the creation of a special Rosary to be given to all participants in the Games. The athletes will not be able to leave the Olympic Village, nor will priests have access to it. The liturgical celebrations will still be broadcast online.
In a note, the Archbishop of Tokyo, Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, explains: