- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Pele hopes to appear at the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympics after missing the opening because of poor health.

The Brazilian soccer great tweeted Tuesday: “I am continuing my physiotherapy and focused on joining you for the closing festivities on August 21. I love you! #olympics.”

Pele was the preferred choice of organizers to light the cauldron. But he first cited sponsorship commitments and later health concerns for keeping him away.

The 75-year-old Pele had hip surgery recently. He walks with a cane.

The Olympic cauldron was lit by Brazilian marathon runner Vanderlei de Lima.

Last month, Pele held the Olympic flame in Santos, a city near Sao Paulo, where he started his career. He never played in the Olympics.

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Online:

AP Summer Games: https://summergames.ap.org/

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