Pope Greets Brazilian Athletes Before Receiving Keys to the City of Rio

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
26 Jul 2013

Just moments after making his way to Rio's so called 'city palace,' the Pope was welcomed by a group of local leaders, including the city's mayor Mr. Eduardo Paes.

The Pope was given a green Brazilian sports jersey as a welcoming gift. Since Brazil will host the Olympics in 2016, he also greeted a group of athletes.

One very tall athlete, in particular asked for his blessing. Afterward, there was time for some lighthearted fun.

"I'm sure you scored, just by doing this."

After the formal greeting, the Pope made his way to the building's balcony, where he was given the keys to the city.

The Pope then blessed both the Olympic and  Paralympic flags, as he stood out in the balcony, facing a garden square, full of people who didn't seem to mind, the light rain. Down in the main floor, he also blessed a Crucifix and a religious image.