Brazilian and Israeli officials to honour victims of Munich massacre with ceremony at Rio 2016

 

Brazilian and Israeli officials will lead a ceremony to honour the victims of the massacre at Munich 1972 during this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The ceremony is scheduled to be held on August 14 at Rio City Hall and due to be attended by the widows of weightlifter Yossef Romano and fencing coach Andre Spitzer.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that candles will by lit during the ceremony as a tribute to the victims.

A total of 11 Israeli Olympic team members were taken hostage and then killed during the Olympics in Munich, along with a German police officer, by the Palestinian group Black September.

The Games were suspended for a day and then carried on.

“As Brazilian, Jewish and Zionist, we are deeply moved by the International Olympic Committee initiative,” Osias Wurman, Israel’s Honorary Consul in Rio de Janeiro, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

“The fact it will happen in Brazil is very remarkable to all Brazilian Jews.

“We must remind the world that killing Israeli Jews was not a practice restricted to Munich.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been repeatedly criticised from across the world that it has not done enough to honour the victims.

At London 2012, on the 40th anniversary of the massacre, there were calls for it to be acknowledged during the Opening or Closing Ceremony.

Jacques Rogge, the IOC President during London 2012, led a spontaneous minute of silence during a ceremony which promoted the Olympic Truce.

It marked the first time that the Olympic Movement honoured the Israeli victims in a ceremony inside an Olympic Village.

The IOC have since announced that a special place for athletes to mourn the loss of family and friends will be set up in the Olympic Village at Rio 2016.

A “moment of reflection” will also be held during the Closing Ceremony.

 

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