Austria: Olympic chaplain Chavanne at the start of the Paralympics

In exactly two weeks, on August 24th, the Paralympic Games begin in Tokyo. Olympic chaplain P. Johannes Paul Chavanne from Heiligenkreuz would like the same kind of attention for physically handicapped athletes as before for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

For Olympic chaplain P. Johannes Paul Chavanne, his fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo were the most unusual so far – for the first time he was not live on site in the Olympic village and at the competition venues, but instead offered support online from home due to corona. The Cistercian from Heiligenkreuz told Kathpress that he “followed everything” and was easily accessible via social media, but the contacts with the Austrian Olympic participants were “selective” and the lines of communication between Japan and Austria were very long. That will change at the Paralympics, where “pastoral care live” will finally be possible.

Paralympics: Finally “Pastoral Care Live”

“Ten commandments also apply to sports”

Human rights more important than profit

Human rights are also more important than economic profit, the priest noted. Sports events on the scale of the Olympics or the World Cup should not take place on the backs of the exploited. Sometimes he has the impression that individual actors – and here functionaries rather than athletes – see sport primarily as a means of making money.

Ecumenical celebration with Germans

Together with the German Protestant Olympic pastor Thomas Weber and his Catholic sports pastoral colleague Elisabeth Keilmann, Father Chavanne recently offered a video service for German-speaking athletes. He sometimes asks “what God thinks when he hears us speak of records for eternity”, Weber had previously explained in an interview in the “Zeit” supplement “Christ & Welt” (Thursday). “That’s all In ten years’ time no one will be so ephemeral and interested, “said the parish priest from Gevelsberg in Westphalia. In any case, he hopes “that the heavenly Creator has a lot of humor for us.”

Weber and Keilmann had also looked after the German Olympic athletes from a distance this year due to the corona.

(cape – sst)


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