Olympics 2016: Pele to miss the Opening Ceremony

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We are a mere few hours away from the start of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. It seems there is more terrible news coming out as we get close to the opening ceremonies that get started at 7:30 pm. News broke around noon through the AP Sports Twitter account; Brazilian soccer great Pele says ill health will be preventing him from going to the opening ceremonies tonight.

The 75-year old is struggling with his health. He was one of the favorites to carry the torch into Rio’s iconic Maracana Stadium and light the cauldron. This has been a huge part of the opening ceremonies to have a person that happens to be either from the area of where the games are being held or someone who is very popular.

As per the Associated Press, Pele released a short statement on the matter, “I’m not physically able to attend the opening of the Olympics… Only God is more important than my health. In my life, I’ve had fractures, surgeries, pain, hospital stays, victories, and defeats. And I’ve always respected those who admire me… As a Brazilian, I ask God to bless all who participate in this event.”

Organizers were doing everything to keep this a secret. It would have been nice for Pele to be there as he is popular in Brazil, but his health is more important. As of this writing, it is unknown if the Olympics have a backup plan on someone else who will light the cauldron. You can see the Opening Ceremonies tonight at 7:30 pm on NBC.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]