Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) today announced passage of their Senate resolution urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to observe one minute of silence during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games to recognize the 40th Anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack which killed 11 athletes and coaches from the Israeli Olympic Team. The Senators’ bipartisan resolution, which is co-sponsored by more than thirty Senators, comes after the IOC rejected proposals from the Israeli government and Congress members Nita Lowey and Eliot Engel to hold a moment of silence at this summer’s games.
“The Munich tragedy was an outrageous attack against innocent athletes and against the unifying spirit of the Olympics,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Observing a moment of silence at the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, when the world’s attention is focused on this symbol of international cooperation and peace, would pay tribute to the slain athletes and coaches and would send a powerful message of unity in the fight against terrorism.”
“The Olympic movement is a celebration of athletic excellence, sportsmanship and spirited international competition, yet forty years ago in Munich, terrorists shocked the world by killing innocent members of the Israeli team,” said Senator Rubio. “As the London Summer Olympics begin next month, we should use the occasion of the Opening Ceremony to pay tribute to the fallen athletes and coaches and deliver a united message against terrorism.”
On September 5th, 1972, Palestinian terrorist group called Black September broke into the Munich Olympic village, killed an Israeli athlete and coach, and took nine other athletes and coaches hostage. A German police officer was killed and the nine hostages were murdered during a rescue attempt.
Senators Gillibrand and Rubio proposed a resolution that calls on both the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Senate to observe one minute of silence to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack, remember those who lost their lives and reject and repudiate terrorism as antithetical to the Olympic goal of peaceful competition.
Co-sponsors of the resolution include Senators Jeff Blumenthal (D-NM), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), James Inhofe (R-OK), Herb Kohl (D-WI), James Risch (R-ID), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Scott Brown (R-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Carl Levin (D-MI), Mark Begich (D-AK), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Robert Casey (D-PA), and John Boozman (R-AR).
Full text of Senators’ resolution is below:
Whereas, in September 1972, in the midst of the Munich Olympics, the core spirit of the Olympics was violated when members of the Black September Palestinian terrorist group murdered eleven members of the Israeli Olympic Team consisting of athletes, coaches, and referees;
Whereas one West German police officer was also killed in the terrorist attack;
Whereas the international community was deeply touched by the brutal murders at the Munich Olympics and memorials have been placed around the world, including in Rockland County, New York, United States; Manchester, United Kingdom; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Munich, Germany;
Whereas the International Olympic Committee has an obligation and the ability to fully and publicly promote the ideals embodied in the Olympic Charter, which states, “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”
Whereas no opening ceremonies of any Olympics since 1972 have marked an official recognition of the terrorist attack that brutally betrayed the vision of the Olympic Games; and
Whereas the London Olympic Games in 2012 will mark four decades since this act of terror took place without a full and public commemoration of the gravity of this tragic event for all Olympians and all humankind: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) should observe a minute of silence to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack and remember those who lost their lives;
(2) urges the International Olympic Committee to take the opportunity afforded by the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack to remind the world that the Olympics were established to send a message of hope and peace through sport and athletic competition; and
(3) urges the International Olympic Committee to recognize with a minute of silence at the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony those who lost their lives at the 1972 Munich Olympics in an effort to reject and repudiate terrorism as antithetical to the Olympic goal of peaceful competition.