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London Olympics: Munich widows remembrance refused

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London Olympics: Munich widows remembrance refused


A minute’s silence at the opening ceremony of London 2012 has been refused by the International Olympic Committee.

It would have marked the 40th anniversary of the death of 11 Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Games.

Their widows were in London to make a final push for the silence. Ankie Spitzer was one of the widows who met IOC chairman Jaques Rogge on Wednesday and presented them with their petition.

“(It) was signed by 106,000 people in just a very short time. People from all over the world, from 155 countries also believed that there should be a minute of silence or some remembrance of the 11 victims from Munich,” she said.

The US, Germany and Israel had also pressed for it, but the IOC said the ceremony was not the appropriate arena for the memorial.

At a press conference Marc Adams, IOC Communications Director explained that their position had not budged on marking the anniversary.

“As you know, the IOC has marked the tragic occasion already in the village on Monday… As far as I know, we will continue as we said we would do,” he explained.

There will be a separate memorial in London’s Guildhall next week, but the widows want the tribute to be on Olympic turf.

In the 40 years since the Munich attacks, a minute’s silence has never been held at an opening ceremony.

In 1972 the Games were briefly suspended.

The widows have called on spectators to stage a silent protest at the opening of the Games on Friday.

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