Israeli, Brazilian and Olympic officials were to attend a memorial ceremony Sunday night for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches slain by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
The commemoration at Rio De Janeiro city hall will be attended by family members of the Israeli victims and Olympic officials from Israel and Brazil.
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev and Israel’s new consul general to San Paulo, Dori Goren, will represent the Israeli government at the event.
At the start of the month, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach led a mourning ceremony for the slain Israelis in tribute that a widow of one of the victims said brought “closure” for the families.
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Bach, his voice cracking with emotion, read out of the names of each of the 11 Israelis and the German policeman who died after the raid in the athletes’ village in Munich, the worst terror attack in Olympic history.
With two widows of the victims and several current Israeli team members looking on, Bach called the Munich massacre “an attack not only on our fellow Olympians, but also an assault on the values that the Olympic Village stands for.”
He led a minute of silence during the August 3 inauguration of a “place of mourning” in the athletes village in Rio de Janeiro. He hugged Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of fencing coach Andre Spitzer and weightlifter Yossef Romano.
Bach also read out of the name of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger killed in a training crash on the eve of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
Families of the Munich victims have campaigned for years for greater public recognition for the dead from the International Olympic Committee. The IOC faced criticism for refusing to hold a moment of silence for the Israeli victims during the opening of the 2012 London Games, 40 years after the attack.
The memorial erected in the Rio Olympic village includes two stones from Ancient Olympia in Greece and bears an inscription reading “We will always remember you forever in our hearts.”