A documentary titled "72 - A Gathering of Champions" has been directed by Emmy-award winner Jonathan Hock ©Olympic Channel

A documentary series recounting the triumphs and tragedies endured during the Munch 1972 Olympics has been released.

American Emmy-award winner Jonathan Hock has directed the four-part series, entitled "72 - A Gathering of Champions", to mark the 50th anniversary of the Olympic Games in the German city.

Produced by the Olympic Channel, the documentary includes restored film footage and new personal accounts from athletes in four one-hour episodes.

Legendary American swimmer Mark Spitz was one of the stars of the Games as he became the first athlete to win seven gold medals in the pool at a single Olympics.

The documentary also sees Mary Peters of Britain and Heide Rosendahl of Germany return to Munch where they relive their fierce rivalry and one of the most exciting finishes in Olympic history, which saw them both break the world record in the pentathlon.

Finnish long-distance runner Lasse Virén, German gymnast Karin Janz, two-time Olympic gold medallist Kip Keino of Kenya and sprinter Valeriy Borzov, who represented Soviet Union at Munich 1972, are among the other athletes that feature in the documentary.

Britain's Mary Peters returns to Munich where she reflects on her pentathlon gold medal ©Olympic Channel
Britain's Mary Peters returns to Munich where she reflects on her pentathlon gold medal ©Olympic Channel

The series also tracks Olympic gymnastics Olga Korbut, who competed for the Soviet Union as well, as she prepares to return to Munich for the first time since winning three golds and a silver at the Games.

The Olympians also remember the tragic events at Munich 1972 when 11 Israeli team members and a German policeman died as a result of a terrorist attack, while the final episode follows 86-year-old Shaul Ladany, a Holocaust survivor who resettled in Israel, as he makes an emotional return to Munich.

"The Olympic Games Munich 1972 were the first great sporting event I remember watching, and I have vivid memories of those moments - Dave Wottle’s golf cap, Mark Spitz’s moustache, Kip Keino’s regal stride, Olga Korbut’s smile," said Hock.

"What a thrill and privilege it was to return with these great athletes, to the stadiums, swimming pools and gymnastics hall, 50 years on.

"While the story is about the extraordinary feats - and tragedy - of Munich, this documentary series is also about memory itself.

"Watching these heroes relive the events that shaped them, where they took place, was the filmmaking experience of a lifetime."