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Should IOC honor slain Israeli athletes?

8:46 PM EDT, July 24, 2012

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Silence is golden

Shannon Owens

Orlando Sentinel

These days, silence holds just as much power — and maybe more — in sports than words.

Perhaps that is why the International Olympic Committee president dug his feet in the ground against honoring the slain Israeli athletes from the Munich Olympics massacre in 1972.

But in this case, silence could not be more appropriate in honoring the victims of a heinous act. That the IOC would fear this as a political stance borders on absurdness.

In the Olympic spirit, competitors should be allowed a moment of silence to honor those who lost their opportunity to compete to an evil hand.

Honoring a life is not a political act. It's an act of humanity.

sowens@tribune.com

Simple gesture best

Barry Stavro

Los Angeles Times

Political events and boycotts are almost as much of an Olympic tradition as the torch is in the Opening Ceremony. Since 1956 various countries have boycotted at least six Games, but their lasting impact was minimal, at least in international diplomatic circles.

Perhaps the most fitting way to honor the slain athletes from the 1972 Games would be for the present day Israeli team to offer a simple gesture: Their own moment of silence at the Opening Ceremony? Wear memorial emblems on their uniforms? Or have relatives of those killed 40 years attend the London Games?

And then, let's lace them up, get to the starting line — and begin.

bstavro@tribune.com

Rogge should be ousted

Chris Korman

Baltimore Sun

To pretend that the Olympic Games are non-political is disingenuous and cowardly. Yet Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, uses that excuse when explaining why one minute of Friday's opening ceremony can't be set aside to remember the 1972 tragedy.

Which means Rogge should be ousted today. He has no idea what he is doing.

Sports can establish common ground, where even athletes from countries that have feuded with Israel can reflect upon the tragedy of lost lives.

Besides, the revelry of the ceremony — sure to be over the top — only has meaning because of the world harmony it aspires to. There is no better time to recall the troubles we have known.

ckorman@tribune.com

Recognition long overdue

Philip Hersh

Chicago Tribune

The International Olympic Committee's ceremony the day after the Munich massacre barely recognized the Israeli dead.

Even worse, the IOC president at the time, Avery Brundage, equated the loss of life with the loss of Rhodesia's presence at the Games because of pressure from African nations.

Forty years later, the time is long overdue for a proper public recognition of the murdered Israeli athletes and coaches in the opening ceremony.

If this offends some countries who may side more with the murderers than the victims, too bad. Let them walk out.

They won't be missed.

phersh@tribue.com