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Should the IOC honor slain Israeli athletes at opening ceremony?

July 24, 2012
  • IOC President Jacques Rogge signs the Olympic Wall of Truce to mark the 40th anniversary of deadly attacks on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Games.
IOC President Jacques Rogge signs the Olympic Wall of Truce to mark the 40th… (Odd Andersen / AFP / Getty…)

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge is holding firm that there will be no moment of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Games at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics, despite pleas from the U.S., Germany and Israel.

Writers from around the Tribune Co.will discuss whether the IOC should mark the 40th anniversary of the tragedy with a moment of silence at the Opening Ceremony. Check back throughout the day for their responses and join the conversation by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Barry Stavro, Los Angeles Times

Political events and boycotts are almost as much of an Olympic tradition as the torch is in the Opening Ceremony.  Since 1956 various countries have boycotted at least six Games, but their lasting impact was minimal, at least in international diplomatic circles.

Perhaps the most fitting way to honor the slain athletes from the 1972 Games would be for the present day Israeli team to offer a simple gesture: Their own moment of silence at the Opening Ceremony?  Wear memorial emblems on their uniforms?  Or have relatives of those killed 40 years ago attend the London Games?

And then, let’s lace them up, get to the starting line -- and begin.

Shannon J. Owens, Orlando Sentinel

These days, silence holds just as much power -- and maybe more -- in sports than words.

Perhaps that is why the International Olympic Committee president dug his feet in the ground against honoring the slain Israeli athletes from the Munich Olympics massacre in 1972.

But in this case, silence could not be more appropriate in honoring the victims of a heinous act. That the IOC would fear this as a political stance is beyond ridiculous and borders on the absurd.

It is the Olympic spirit that brings together various competitors from countries across the world to celebrate competition and sport. And it is in this same spirit that competitors should be allowed a moment of silence to honor those who lost their opportunity to compete to an evil hand.

Honoring a life is not a political act. It’s an act of humanity.

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