Sunday 22 July 2012

Just A Minute

 40 years ago, between 5th September and 6th September, at the Olympic Games in Munich, 11 athletes were abducted and eventually murdered by terrorists. Two nationalities may have been left out from that sentence but really, they are not important. 40 years on, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) continue to refuse  to hold a one minutes silence for these murdered Olympians who went to compete at games, like the athletes and coaches of every other nation, in peace and with nothing but sporting achievement on their minds but, unlike every other athlete, they returned in coffins murdered by terrorists who wanted nothing less than to see them dead. The day after the tragedy occurred, there was a memorial service held in Munich for the murdered athletes and coaches during which the Olympic Flag and those of attending countries were lowered to half mast. All attending countries excepting 10 nations who refused to have their flags lowered to respect 11 dead athletes. 

40 years on it is similar nations who, it seem, will ensure that 11 athletes and coaches will continue to go unremembered at the event at which they were murdered and by the movement which they served and believed in. Repeated calls have come for a permanent memorial, perhaps in the form of a minutes silence, to be held at the Olympic Games to remember 11 athletes and coaches that were murdered but the IOC has declined, saying that to introduce a specific reference to the victims could "alienate other members of the Olympic community". The Olympic Movement is meant to represent unity of all through sport, but her members cannot pull together to remember 11 Olympians murdered at a Games. Perhaps it is time to consider if these nations truly represent the spirit of the Olympic movement. Indeed, London 2012, the 40th anniversary of the tragedy, will be the latest Olympic Games that has no memorial service at the Games to remember 11 athletes and coaches murdered at an Olympic Games and the excuses have not gotten any better in the past 40 years. 

The London Olympics in 2012 will last 24,480 minutes. The Olympic Community still struggle to find just one to remember 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by Palestinian Terrorists.