The earthly Olympic Games were revived in 1896 to promote understanding and friendship among nations. That same year, the new Angel of the Olympic Games approached Yves and proposed that Heaven could benefit from its own event to promote understanding and friendship. Yves proposed the idea to the Seraphim Council, which was well-received, and the Council quickly agreed to call its first Celestial Olympics to coincide with the earthly Olympics games of 1900. The four year interim, it was decided, would provide time for the newly-founded Heavenly Olympic Committee (HOC) to clarifying the rules that would govern the Celestial Games. As it turned out, Heaven needed every moment of those four years to appease some of the more *ahem* robustly opinionated, detail-oriented, and thorough members of the Host.
Like its earthly brother, the HOC chooses the program of events, the location of the games, and the standards and metrics to be used for the competition. Each Cathedral in Heaven has its own Regional Olympic Committee (ROC) that oversees the celestial athletes representing the Cathedral. The hosting ROC is also responsible for providing an Olympic Village for the athletes to live in during the games.
The opening ceremony of the Celestial Olympics is a grand affair modeled after its earthly inspiration. The event is presided over by the Superior whose cathedral is hosting the games, and the ceremony always starts with the parade of cathedrals around the chosen "stadium". By tradition, the parade is led by Destiny who was the first host of the games. After the parade, the celestial athletes take their Olympic oath, the Olympic torch is lit*(1), and the host Superior declares the games open.
Eligibility Of Participation
The Celestial Olympics are technically open to any celestial being living in Heaven, but certain games have restrictions that limit participation to particular groups. Also, by ruling of the HOC and the Seraphim Council, Grigori and demons are forbidden to participate in the games, although they may watch (of course getting to and surviving in Heaven to see the games is another story).
Each ROC also has its own criteria for eligibility for its own athletes. Saints usually compete for their current Superior, but they can also join the blessed souls who usually compete for humanity as a whole.
Location Of The Games
All games are held within the confines of Heaven in the "stadium" provided by the hosting cathedral. The "stadium" can be any area of competition the hosting cathedral chooses as long as it is (1) accessible to all athletes and the public and (2) the area meets the conditions specified to play the intended games. Yes, there are large sections of the Heavenly Library devoted exclusively to describing the required location conditions for each game - now you know why it took four years just to start the games. No, the creation of Olympic venues and the creation of Olympic game rules and conditions are not yet Celestial Olympic events, but check again in another couple of years.
Despite the name, the Celestial Olympics includes events originating from all three realms: Corporeal, Ethereal, and Celestial. The Games are also further broken down into angel-only, soul-only*(2), and mixed events as well as medal-contending and exhibition-only events. By tradition, Superiors only compete in events where other Superiors can oppose them.
The Corporeal Games include every human sport ever imagined, plus a whole slough of sports that humans and angels dreamed up in the Nerf physics realm of Heaven. In addition, there are animal and insect "sports" enough to boggle the mind.
The Ethereal Games are well, mostly games such as cards, chess, cross-word puzzles, battleship, quake, etc. but can also include any mental work out such as proofs, spelling bees, or standardized tests.
The Celestial games are a test of celestial powers and as such are mostly for angels, but some soldiers and saints participate as well.
1900: Destiny hosts the first Celestial Olympics outside the Library. Yves has Eli create a "stadium" to match the ancient site at Olympia. While all Archangels send athletes to participate, the event is dominated by members of the War faction.
1916: Stone hosts the games, but most of the War faction declines to attend citing the conflict on Earth as a higher priority.
1924: Trade hosts the games, and the Celestial games adopt the Winter events*(3).
1948: Last Celestial Olympics Eli's Creation crew participated in the parade of Cathedrals.
1964: Flowers hosts the games in the Garden of Eden version 2. Many, many souls and angels indulge in Creationer rites.
1968: Lightning hosts the games at the launching site. Jean announces that humanity will land on the moon within a year.
1984: Trade hosts the games for a second time.*(4)
2002: The Sword is hosting the current 2002 Corporeal Winter-based portion of the Celestial Olympics. Laurence denies (again) that he originated Mormonism.