- 1972 Summer Olympics
Games of the XX Olympiad Host city Munich, West Germany Nations participating 121 Athletes participating 7170 (6075 men, 1095 women) Events 195 in 23 sports Opening ceremony August 26 Closing ceremony September 10 Officially opened by President Gustav Heinemann Athlete's Oath Heidi Schüller Judge's Oath Heinz Pollay Olympic Torch Günther Zahn Stadium Olympic Stadium
The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Munich, in what was then West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972.
The 1972 Summer Olympics were the second Summer Olympics to be held in Germany, after the 1936 Games in Berlin, which had taken place under the Nazi regime. Mindful of the connection, the West German Government were anxious to take the opportunity of the Munich Olympics to present a new, democratic and optimistic Germany to the world, as shown by the Games' official motto, "the Happy Games." The emblem of the Games was a blue solar logo (the "Bright Sun") by Hungarian artist Viktor Vasarely. The Olympic mascot, the dachshund "Waldi", was the first officially named Olympic mascot. The Games also saw the introduction of the now-universal sports pictograms designed by Otl Aicher. Soon, however, the killings of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian gunmen in an event known as the Munich massacre took center stage.
The Olympic Park (Olympiapark) is based on Frei Otto's plans and after the Games became a Munich landmark. The competition sites, designed by architect Günther Behnisch, included the Olympic swimming hall, the Olympics Hall (Olympiahalle, a multipurpose facility) and the Olympic Stadium (Olympiastadion), and an Olympic village very close to the park. The design of the stadium was considered revolutionary, with sweeping canopies of acrylic glass stabilized by metal ropes, used on such a large scale for the first time.
Host city selection
1972 Summer Olympics bidding results City Country Round 1 Round 2 Munich West Germany 29 31 Madrid Spain 16 16 Montreal Canada 6 13 Detroit United States 6 —
The Games were largely overshadowed by what has come to be known as the Munich massacre. On September 5 a group of eight Palestinian guerrillas belonging to the Black September organization broke into the Olympic Village and took eleven Israeli athletes, coaches and officials hostage in their apartments. Two of the hostages who resisted were killed in the first moments of the break-in; the subsequent standoff in the Olympic Village lasted for almost 18 hours.
Late in the evening of September 5, the terrorists and their hostages were transferred by helicopter to the military airport of Fürstenfeldbruck, ostensibly to board a plane bound for an undetermined Arab country. The German authorities planned to ambush them there, but under-estimated the number of terrorists and were thus undermanned. During a botched rescue attempt, all of the Israeli hostages were killed. Four of them were shot, then incinerated when a Palestinian detonated a grenade inside the helicopter in which the hostages were sitting. The five remaining hostages were then machine-gunned by another terrorist.
All but three of the Palestinians were killed as well. Although arrested and imprisoned pending trial, the three PLO survivors were released by the West German government on October 29, 1972 in exchange for a hijacked Lufthansa jet. Two of those three were supposedly hunted down and assassinated later by the Mossad. Jamal Al-Gashey, who is believed to be the sole survivor, and is still living today in hiding in an unspecified African country with his wife and two children. The Olympic events were suspended several hours after the initial attack, but once the incident was concluded Avery Brundage, the International Olympic Committee president, declared that "the Games must go on". A memorial ceremony was then held in the Olympic stadium, and the competitions resumed after a stoppage of 24 hours. The attack prompted heightened security at subsequent Olympics beginning with the 1976 Winter Olympics.
The massacre led the German federal government to re-examine its anti-terrorism policies, which at the time were dominated by a pacifist approach adopted post-World War II. This led to the creation of the elite counter-terrorist unit GSG 9, similar to the British SAS. It also led Israel to launch an aggressive counterterrorism campaign known as Operation Wrath of God. The events of the Munich massacre were chronicled in the Oscar-winning documentary, One Day in September. An account of the aftermath is dramatized in Steven Spielberg's 2005 film Munich.
- Mark Spitz, a swimmer from the United States, set a world record when he won seven gold medals (while on the way to setting a new world record for each of his seven gold medals) in a single Olympics, bringing his lifetime total to nine (he had won two golds in Mexico City's Games four years earlier). Being Jewish, Spitz was forced to leave Munich before the closing ceremonies for his own protection, after fears arose that he would be an additional target of those responsible for the Munich massacre. Spitz's record stood until 2008, when it was beaten by Michael Phelps who won 8 gold medals in the pool.
- Olga Korbut, a Soviet gymnast, became a media star after winning a gold medal in the team competition event, failing to win in the individual all-around after a fall (she was beaten by Lyudmilla Turischeva), and finally winning two gold medals in the Balance Beam and the floor exercise events.
- In the final of the men's basketball, the United States lost to the USSR, in what USA Basketball calls "the most controversial game in international basketball history". In a close-fought match the U.S. team initially believed it had won with a score of 50-49, but confusion over a late time-out gave the Soviet team a few seconds to score two more points and claim victory. Ultimately the U.S team refused to accept their silver medal, which remains held in a vault in Lausanne, Switzerland.
- Lasse Virén of Finland won the 5,000 and 10,000 m (the latter after a fall), a feat he repeated in the 1976 Summer Olympics.
- Valeriy Borzov of the USSR won both the 100 m and 200 m in track and field. The top two US sprinters and medal favorites in the 100 m, Rey Robinson and Eddie Hart, missed their quarter final heats after being given the wrong starting time.
- Two black American 400 m runners, Vincent Matthews and Wayne Collett, acted casually on the medal stand, twirled their medals (gold and silver, respectively), joked with one another and did not face the American flag as "The Star-Spangled Banner" was being played during the award ceremony. They were banned from the Olympics for life, as Tommie Smith and John Carlos had been in the 1968 Summer Olympics. Since John Smith had pulled a hamstring in the final and had been ruled unfit to run, the United States were forced to scratch from the 4x400m relay.
- Dave Wottle won the men's 800 m, after being last for the first 600 m, at which point he started to pass runner after runner up the final straightaway, finally grabbing the lead in the final 18 metres to win by 0.03 seconds ahead of the favorite, the Soviet Yevgeny Arzhanov. At the victory ceremony, Wottle forgot to remove his golf cap. This was interpreted by some as a form of protest against the Vietnam War, but Wottle later apologized.
- Australian swimmer Shane Gould won three gold medals, a silver, and a bronze medal at the age of 15.
- Handball (last held in 1936) and Archery (last held in 1920) returned as Olympic sports after a long absence.
- Slalom canoeing was held for the first time at the Olympics.
- Dan Gable won the gold medal in wrestling without having a single point scored against him.
- Wim Ruska became the first judoka to win two gold medals.
- For the first time, the Olympic Oath was taken by a representative of the referees.
- American Frank Shorter, who was born in Munich, became the first from his country in 64 years to win the Olympic marathon. As Shorter was nearing the stadium, German student Norbert Sudhaus entered the stadium wearing a track uniform, joined the race and ran the last kilometre; thinking he was the winner, the crowd began cheering him before officials realized the hoax and security escorted Sudhaus off the track. Arriving seconds later, Shorter was understandably perplexed to see someone ahead of him and to hear the boos and catcalls meant for Sudhaus. This was the third time in Olympic history that an American had won the marathon (after Thomas Hicks 1904 and Johnny Hayes 1908) — and in none of those three instances did the winner enter the stadium first.
- Munich Olympic Park (Olympiapark)
- Olympic Stadium (Olympiastadion) – opening/closing ceremonies, athletics, equestrian (jumping team), football (final), modern pentathlon (running), memorial service for Israeli athletes
- Boxing Hall (Boxhalle) – boxing, judo (final)
- Cycling Stadium (Radstadion) – cycling (track)
- Olympic Sports Hall (Sporthalle) – gymnastics, handball (final)
- Hockey Facility (Hockeyanlage) – field hockey
- Swimming Hall (Schwimmhalle) – swimming, diving, water polo (final), modern pentathlon (swimming)
- Volleyball Hall (Volleyballhalle) – volleyball
- Olympic Village (Olympisches Dorf)
- Venues in Greater Munich
- Regatta Course (Regattastrecke), Oberschleißheim – canoe sprint, rowing
- Basketball Hall (Basketballhalle), Siegenburger Straße – basketball, judo
- Fairgrounds, Fencing Hall 1 (Messegelände, Fechthalle 1) – fencing (final)
- Fairgrounds, Fencing Hall 2 (Messegelände, Fechthalle 2) – fencing, modern pentathlon (fencing)
- Fairgrounds, Weightlifting Hall (Messegelände, Gewichtheberhalle) – weightlifting
- Fairgrounds, Judo and Wrestling Hall (Messegelände, Judo- und Ringerhalle) – judo, wrestling
- Dante Swimming Pool (Dantebad) – water polo
- Shooting Facility (Schießanlage), Hochbrück – shooting, modern pentathlon (shooting)
- Archery Facility (Bogenschießanlage), Englischer Garten – archery
- Riding Facility, Riem – equestrian (jumping individual, eventing cross-country), modern pentathlon (riding)
- Dressage Facility Nymphenburg – equestrian (dressage)
- Grünwald - cycling (individual road race)
- Other venues
- Olympic Yachting Center, Kiel-Schilksee – water skiing, sailing
- Urban Stadium (Nuremberg) – football/soccer preliminaries
- Jahnstadion (Regensburg) – football/soccer preliminaries
- Drei Flüsse Stadion (Passau) – football/soccer preliminaries
- ESV-Stadion (Ingolstadt) – football/soccer preliminaries
- Augsburg – canoe slalom (Eiskanal), football/soccer preliminaries (Rosenaustadion), handball preliminaries (Sporthalle Augsburg)
- Donauhalle Ulm – handball preliminaries
- Hohenstaufenhalle Göppingen (Göppingen) – handball preliminaries
- Böblingen Sportshalle – handball preliminaries
- Bundesautobahn 96 - cycling (road team time trial)
See the medal winners, ordered by sport:
This is the medal table, these are the top ten nations that won medals at these Games (The host country is highlighted).
Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total 1 Soviet Union 50 27 22 99 2 United States 33 31 30 94 3 East Germany 20 23 23 66 4 West Germany 13 11 16 40 5 Japan 13 8 8 29 6 Australia 8 7 2 17 7 Poland 7 5 9 21 8 Hungary 6 13 16 35 9 Bulgaria 6 10 5 21 10 Italy 5 3 10 18
Rhodesia's invitation to take part in the 1972 Summer Games was withdrawn by the International Olympic Committee four days before the opening ceremony, in response to African countries' protests against the Rhodesian regime. (Rhodesia did, however, compete in the 1972 Summer Paralympics, held a little earlier in Heidelberg.)
- 1972 Summer Paralympics
- 1972 Winter Olympics
- Olympic games celebrated in Germany
- Summer Olympic Games
- Olympic Games
- International Olympic Committee
- List of IOC country codes
- 1972 Summer Olympics – Munich, Bavaria, West Germany — Munich massacre
- 1972 Summer Olympics medal table
- ^ IOC Vote History
- ^ "Past Olympic host city election results". GamesBids. Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5xFvf0ufx. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- ^ "USA Basketball". Archived from the original on 2007-08-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20070822182059/http://www.usabasketball.com/history/moly_1972.html.
- ^ "1972: Rhodesia out of Olympics", BBC
- ^ "Rhodesia expelled", Montreal Gazette, August 23, 1972
References and bibliography
- Schiller, Kay, and Christopher Young. The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany (University of California Press; 2010) 348 pages
- Preuss, Holger. The Economics of Staging the Olympics: A Comparison of the Games, 1972-2008 (2006)
- "Munich 1972". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee. http://www.olympic.org/en/content/Olympic-Games/All-Past-Olympic-Games/Summer/Munich-1972.
- "All the Medallists since 1896". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee. http://www.olympic.org/en/content/All-Olympic-results-since-1896/?AthleteName=&Games=1333862&Country=&Sport=&TargetResults=true&resultsPageIPP=30.
- "Munich 1972". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee. http://www.olympic.org/en/content/Olympic-Games/All-Past-Olympic-Games/Summer/Munich-1972.
- The main theme of the 1972 Summer Olympics by Gunther Noris and the Big Band of Bundeswehr "Munich Fanfare March-Swinging Olympia 
Summer Olympic Games
XX Olympiad (1972)
Olympic Games Sports · Venues · Ceremonies · Medals · Medal tables · Medalists · IOC · NOCs · Symbols Summer Games Winter Games 1 Discounted ex post facto by the IOC. 2 Cancelled due to World War I. 3 Cancelled due to World War II. Events at the 1972 Summer Olympics (Munich)Archery • Athletics • Basketball • Badminton (demonstration) • Boxing • Canoeing • Cycling • Diving • Equestrian • Fencing • Football • Gymnastics • Handball • Hockey • Judo • Modern pentathlon • Rowing • Sailing • Shooting • Swimming • Volleyball • Water polo • Water skiing (demonstration) • Weightlifting • Wrestling Venues of the 1972 Summer Olympics Olympiapark Greater Munich Football venues Handball venues Other venues
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