Campaigners push for silence for Munich 72 victims at Rio 2016
Sunday, 23 September 2012
September 23 - Campaigners will continue efforts to have a minute's silence for the 11 Israeli athletes killed at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games incorporated into the Opening Ceremony of the next Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the murders of the 11 Israeli athletes and a German policeman who were killed by Palestinian terrorists from the Black September group.
A campaign led by Ankie Spitzer (pictured above) and Ilana Romano, the widows of two of the murdered athletes, had hoped to have a minute's silence included in the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.
The campaign was supported by leading politicians across the world, including those in Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, Australia and the United States, whose President Barack Obama came out in support.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) rebuffed attempts to have the silence woven into the proceedings of the Opening Ceremony, citing concerns over the "unity" of the Olympic Movement.
In honour of the dead athletes, the IOC has a permanent memorial at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne and a ceremony at every Olympic Games is attended by the IOC President.
This year, for the first time, an additional ceremony with a minute's silence, was held in the London 2012 Olympic Village.
"We have a lot to do yet until Rio comes around but I am absolutely confident that in Rio the circle will come to full closure," said Spitzer, adding that although their campaign did not achieve its ultimate goal this summer, significant progress had been made.
"In my opinion it was a big victory that so many people around the world remembered and in so many parliaments and in so many corners of the world people stood in a minute of silence."
September 2012: Germany and Israel mark 40 years since Munich Games massacre
August 2012: "Shame on you" IOC President told by widow of Munich Massacre victim
July 2012: Widows step up campaign for minute's silence in London for Munich victims
July 2012: No minute's silence for 1972 Munich murder victims at London 2012, confirms Rogge
July 2012: David Gold - A minute's silence should honour victims murdered in Munich 1972 massacre