American gymnast Aly Raisman has revealed the music for her gold medal-winning floor routine at the London Olympics was a tribute to the victims of the 1972 Munich Games terror attack.
The 18-year-old said choosing Hava Nagila- a traditional score used for wedding dances and bat mitzvah – was a response to the International Olympic Committee’s failure to mark the 40th anniversary of the tragedy.
And for Aly, from Needham, Massachusetts, she said it made her gold even more special.
‘I can only imagine how painful it must be for the families and close personal friends of the victims,’ she said.
‘I am Jewish, that’s why I wanted that floor music,’ she told the New York Post. ‘I wanted something the crowd could clap to, especially being here in London.
‘It makes it even much more if the audience is going through everything with you. That was really cool and fun to hear the audience clapping.’
Eleven Israeli athletes were killed during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games in the now infamous Palestinian terrorist attack. Only recently it has been revealed German neo-Nazis helped them.
A campaign was launched by Israeli officials and the widow of one of the victims for a minute’s silence during the opening ceremony but IOC president Jacques Rogge ruled that out.
President Obama also threw his support behind the call for a commemoration of the massacre at the London Olympics.
NBC’s Bob Costas also blasted the decision, saying it was ‘insensitive’ and held his own moment of silence when Israeli athletes marched into the Olympic Stadium.
‘She’s very proud and upfront about being Jewish. Neither she nor her family explicitly sought to send a message. But it shows how very integrated her Jewish heritage is in everything that she does.’
Rabbi Stern told the New York Post that he was also stunned by the IOC’s refusal to hold a moment of silence during the event.
‘I’m happy to hear any other explanation,’ he said. ‘But short of some racist grudge somebody is holding, I can’t figure out why it would be a terrible thing to do.’
The Rabbi said he watched the routine and was blown away.
‘I have to say, the statement just warmed me to the very depths of my being,’ he said.
He compared it to the iconic black-power, raised-fist protest made by track stars John Carlos and Tommie Smith on the medal stand at the 1968 Mexico City Games.
‘They’re not going to forget that,’ the rabbi said. ‘I certainly won’t.’
Eventually, a low-key tribute in front of 100 people was paid at the signing of the Olympic Truce in London’s Olympic Village after the Games opened, the first time it has happened inside an athletes village.
This was not the first time the IOC passed over a moment of silence.
In the 2002 Olympics held in Salt Lake City – and largely organised by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney – organisers marked the 30th anniversary but did not hold a moment of silence.
There was also a separate commemoration for the victims of September 11th.
During coverage of this Olympics, U.S. broadcaster NBC has sparked anger in the host country after cutting away from the Opening Ceremony when a tribute to the victims of the London 7/7 bombings was shown.
The station said the tribute to the devastating attack – which killed 52 people and left many with life-changing injuries – ‘wasn’t tailored to a U.S. audience’. It showed an interview with swimmer Michael Phelps instead.
Source: The Daily Mail