Members of the Italian Olympic delegation held a moment of silence Sunday in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the Munich Olympics 40 years ago. Some 30 individuals, among them athletes, the Italian Tourism and Sports Minister Piero Gnudi and the head of the Italian Olympic Committee, Gianni Petrucci, participated in the intimate ceremony.
Also in attendance were the Chairman of the Israeli Olympic Committee, Zvi Varshaviak, and the head of the Israeli delegation, Efraim Zinger.
The moment of silence was held at the entrance to the Israeli delegation’s residential compound in London.
The International Olympic Committee had rejected requests to hold a moment of silence during the Opening Ceremony of the Games to acknowledge the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian terrorists in Munich in 1972.
Ankie Spitzer, widow of the Israeli Olympic fencing coach Andrei Spitzer who was killed in Munich, had led the push for the remembrance.
Although the United States, Germany, and Israel supported the moment of silence, the IOC said that the kick-off ceremony was not an appropriate venue for the gesture.
Despite the lack of an official moment of silence, Israeli TV commentators held an informal 30-second silence during the ceremony. Bob Costas also mentioned the moment of silence controversy during NBC’s broadcast of the event.