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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

#JustOneMinute The International Olympic Committee's unannounced publicity stunt

Trying to deflect pressure for a minute of silence in the London Olympic Games' opening ceremony, the International Olympic Committee on Monday held its own, unannounced moment of silence at London's Olympic Village. The Israeli government was underwhelmed by this publicity stunt.
A ceremony that nobody knew about or paid attention to is not what Jerusalem was looking for, said one diplomatic official.

The official said that Israel thought that 40 years after the Munich massacre it was time for a tribute to be paid at a central Olympic event, like the opening of the games, and not at a side event as has been the case in years past.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has spearheaded efforts for a moment of silence at the opening game, something turned down by the International Olympic Committee.

One diplomatic official explained Israel's efforts, saying that the terrorism in Munich was not only a tragedy for Israel, but for the whole Olympic ideal and should be duly commemorated by the entire Olympic "family."
The families of the murdered athletes were even less impressed.
Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of Israeli athletes slain by Palestinians terrorists at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, told The Jerusalem Post they were outraged by the ceremony calling it a ruse intended to deflect criticism against the IOC.

"He is trying to do the bare minimum," said Romano over the phone, referring to Rogge. "This is shameful."

Spitzer and Romano, who will board a flight to London on Tuesday, speculated the last-minute ceremony was a bid to preempt a press conference they plan to hold on Wednesday where they will reiterate their demand that their loved ones be honored at the opening ceremony this Friday.

"He tried to pull the rug from under our feet, but we still have a few things to say," said Romano.

Spitzer added: "This is not the right solution, to hold some ceremony in front of 30 or 40 people. We asked for a moment of silence at the opening ceremony not for someone to mumble something in front of a few dozen people."
The whole notion of an 'Olympic family' is a farce. The 'memorial ceremony' in London on Monday is less than a farce. It's downright shameful.

While sports cannot cure the world's ills they also cannot ignore what goes on around them as if it does not exist.

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