The New York Times has published an article by Sam Borden detailing the decades-long struggle faced by the family members of the Israeli athletes murdered during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.
With construction plans underway for a memorial in Munich near the Olympic Village, family members feel the victims are finally beginning to receive the remembrance they are due. The Foundation for Global Sports Development and the International Olympic Committee have both pledged $250,000 in support of the memorial in Munich. Along with their financial contribution, the IOC is considering further steps to create a formal recognition during the 2016 Summer Olympic games in Rio.
“David Ulich, the president of the foundation, which had been tracking the families’ efforts, said the election of Thomas Bach, a German, to the I.O.C. presidency in 2013 had been a turning point in the process. The Bavarian government had begun discussions about building a memorial in 2012, and once he replaced Rogge, Bach quickly pledged the involvement of the I.O.C. Bach is a former Olympic fencer who competed at the 1976 Montreal Games, and he had a personal connection to some of the victims of the Munich attacks.
While plans for an official remembrance at the Rio Games are still being worked out, Bach has made it clear that he believes the Olympic movement should give formal, sensitive acknowledgment to the Munich victims and other Olympians who have died, like the Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who was killed during a practice run at the 2010 Vancouver Games. At the opening of the planned mourning area in the Olympic Village in Brazil, Bach said, there will be an opportunity for the I.O.C. to “remember all those who have lost their lives at the Olympic Games.”