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Pope: ‘Let These Olympics Be a Great Celebration of Friendship and Sport’

Francis Sends Prayers and Encouragement to All Involved in Olympic Games

‘Let these Olympics be a great celebration of friendship and sport!’

Pope Francis gave this encouragement at the end of today’s General Audience, recalling that the XXIII Winter Olympic Games will open on Friday, February 9, in the city of PyeongChang, South Korea, with the participation of 92 countries.

The traditional Olympic truce, the Pontiff emphasized, becomes especially important this year, reminding,  “Delegations from the two Koreas will march together under a single flag and compete as one team.”

“This fact,” he said, “gives hope for a world in which conflicts can be resolved peacefully through dialogue and mutual respect, as sports also teaches to do.”

Offering his greetings to the International Olympic Committee, to the athletes and athletes participating in the PyeongChang Games, to the Authorities and to the people of the Korean Peninsula, he stressed that he accompanies them all with prayer, while, noting: “I renew the commitment of the Holy See to support every useful initiative in favor of peace and the meeting of peoples.”

Let these Olympics be a great celebration of friendship and sport!

Pope Francis concluded, praying, “May God bless you and keep you!

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio, Sky, and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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