MODERN OLYMPIC GAMES - 1972 Munich Olympiad

The Games of the XX Olympiad held in Munich, opened by President Gustave Heinemann were the most tragic of the modern Olympics. Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic Village, kidnapted nine members of the Israeli team and killed two, asking the release of 200 Palestinians from the Israel prisons. The security forces responded and the result was tragic: eleven athletes, 5 terrorists and a policeman were killed. The Olympics were suspended for 34 hours and a memorial service was held in the main stadium. Mark Spitz, swimmer from the United States, won seven gold medals, Lasse Viren, from Finland, fell midway through the 10,000m final, but rose and set a world record, freestyle wrestler Ivan Yarygin, from Soviet Union,

pinned all seven of his opponents en route to his first Olympic championship in the heavyweight division and Liselott Linsenhoff, from West Germany, competing in the dressage event, became the first female equestrian to win a gold

medal in an individual event. The hero of the media was the Soviet gymnast, Olga Korbut. The innovation in these Games was the reintroducing of archery and handball in the Olympic programme and a mascot: Waldi the Dachshund.


Opening date:
26th August 1972

Closing date:
11th September 1972

Nations: 121
Sports: 23
Events: 195
Athletes: 7 134
Men: 6 075
1 059

Candidate cities: Detroit, Madrid and Montreal.