On Munich & London

I’ve been thinking about the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches who were murdered during the Munich Olympics 40 years ago.  They traveled to the games in the olympic spirit, to perform and coach at their best and instead they were brutally murdered in an act of terrorism.

I am disgusted and saddened that International Olympic Committee staunchly refuses to allow even one minute – 60 seconds – of silence to acknowledge the tragedy, to remember the lessons (hopefully) learned from it and to honor the lives lost.  One minute of a 3-hour opening ceremony is not a great sacrifice.  Such minutes of silence have been done during opening ceremonies.

I encourage you to read an article in Tablet Magazine by scholar and professor Deborah Lipstat titled “Jewish Blood Is Cheap: The real reason the Olympic Committee refuses to commemorate the Israeli athletes murdered in Munich.”

A number of years ago, I had the honor of meeting Daniel Alon, Israeli Olympian and Fencer.  A member of the ’72 Israeli team, he was in an apartment in the athletes village that was not immediately overtaken by the terrorists.  He and a few others were able to escape from the hostage-takers and survive.  Mr. Alon spoke at Miami University, sharing his story with students, faculty, staff and community members, telling of their horror, the loss of their teammates and friends, and the pain of the denial of the tragedy by the olympic officials.  (Read more in the Miami Student report.)

I usually watch the olympics and cheer for the athletes.  I admire their dedication, perseverance and talent.  The olympic ideal of sport above politics has potential to make an impact on the world.  How sad it is that the olympic officials themselves have chosen politics over the olympic ideals.

Because of the blatant disregard by the IOC for the spirit of the games, the dedication of the athletes and the importance of honoring all participants – – I will not watch these olympic games.

More info:
What happened in Munich
– Details of the events “Munich Massacre” (Wikipedia)
– “What Went Wrong in Munich” (Tablet Magazine)

Remembering the Athletes and Coaches
The Fellowship

May the memories of those lost be an inspiration.

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