LONDON — The president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, will speak next week at a ceremony in memory of the athletes murdered at the Munich Games, organized by the Israelis and British Jews, it was announced Tuesday.
Rogge has come under fire for refusing to allow a minute of silence at the opening ceremony of the Olympics last Friday in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes, who were killed in a terrorist attack in 1972.
In a press conference last week, Ilana Romano, the widow of weightlifter Yossef Romano, said that Rogge had “let terror win” and that the families were “very hurt” by his decision.
Ankie Spitzer, widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer, said in the same press conference that Rogge was using the upcoming Munich ceremony as an excuse not to hold the moment of silence and questioned his motives for attending.
“If the Israeli embassy and London Jewish community were not organizing it, he would not have any memorial to go to,” she said. “If they can’t do the right thing at home, in the Olympic ceremony, why come?”
The memorial ceremony, which will take place in London on Monday, August 6, is being organized by the National Olympic Committee of Israel, the embassy of Israel in London and the Jewish Committee for the London Games, which is a cross-communal group of British Jewish organizations.
Hundreds of representatives of nations participating in the Games are expected to attend.
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, will also address the gathering, the organizers announced Tuesday. A message of support will be read from Charles, the Prince of Wales and the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will be in attendance. Israel will be represented by Sports Minister Limor Livnat.
Ilana Romano and Ankie Spitzer will also attend.