The head of the International Olympic Committee apologized Wednesday for the group’s longtime failure to commemorate 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian militants on the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Thomas Bach spoke at a ceremony in Tel Aviv marking the fiftieth anniversary of the lethal assault on the Munich Olympics, two weeks after Germany’s president apologized at a memorial ceremony in Germany for his nation’s failures earlier than, throughout, and after the assault. On Sept. 5, 1972, the Palestinian group Black September attacked the Israeli Olympic delegation on the Munich Olympic Games, killing 11 Israelis and a police officer. Israeli President Isaac Herzog mentioned the athletes have been “brutally murdered in cold blood by a Palestinian terrorist organization just for being Jews, just because they were Israelis.”
“This was the moment that the Olympic torch was snuffed out, and the five-ringed flag was stained with blood,” he mentioned. Bach mentioned the assault in Munich was one in all “the darkest days in Olympic history” and an assault on the Olympic Games and its values. “Everything that the Olympic Games stand for was shattered 50 years ago with the horrific attack on the Israeli Olympic team.” He apologized for the various years it took the International Olympic Committee to commemorate the Israeli victims “in a dignified way.”
A second of silence was held on the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games final yr — the primary time the Olympic Games’ organizers marked the killing of the Israeli athletes in practically half a century. “For this pain, and for this anguish, that we caused, I am truly sorry,” Bach mentioned.
Last month the German authorities reached an settlement to offer the households of the Munich victims a complete of 28 million euros (or $27.6 million) in compensation after the households had threatened to boycott this yr’s memorial ceremony.