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1. The 1972 Munich Olympics massacre
The 1972 games, held in Munich, were consciously designed as a historical counter to the Berlin games of 1936. These were to be "the Happy Games," meant to replace the awful memories of Nazi salutes and Aryan race-baiting.
They were anything but happy. Palestinian terrorists aided by German neo-Nazis kidnapped members of the Israeli Olympic team, holding them hostage before killing 11 athletes and coaches. Several of the terrorists were killed in a botched German rescue attempt, and three more were released just months later in exchange for a hijacked airliner. Earlier this year, Der Spiegel reported that German authorities received a tip a month before the Munich massacre warning of a terrorist incident. Security at the Olympic Village was laughably weak.
After the massacre, IOC head Avery Brundage announced to a stadium full of athletes, dignitaries, and other spectators that, after a day of mourning, "the Games must go on.” During his remarks, Brundage likened the murder of athletes to a successful move to bar apartheid Rhodesia from participating in the Olympics. "The Games of the XXth Olympiad have been subject to two savage attacks," said Brundage to a disbelieving crowd. "We lost the Rhodesian battle against naked political blackmail."
As for anti-Semitism, it’s still alive and well at the Olympics. Though the 2012 London Olympics mark the 40th anniversary of the Munich massacre and the opening ceremonies had time to celebrate the National Health Service and Welsh contributions to British culture, not a moment of silence could be spared for the most violent event in Olympics history. And, faced with an Olympic rule against avoiding competitors based on nationality, a top Iranian judo competitor withdrew from a competition in which he might have faced an Israeli athlete.