Anger over honour for former Olympics chief Jacques Rogge

By Charlotte Oliver, February 27, 2014

The widow of one of the Israeli sportsmen killed by Arab terrorists at the 1972 Olympics has voiced her anger over the honorary knighthood given this week to Jacques Rogge, former president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Mr Rogge, who was invested on Tuesday by the Princess Royal, enraged relatives of the 11 murdered Israelis when he refused to grant a minute’s silence in their memory at the London 2012 Games.

Ankie Spitzer, whose husband Andre was the Israeli fencing coach at the 1972 Munich Olympics, said Mr Rogge had failed to honour “members of his own Olympic family” by not agreeing to honour the dead athletes.

She said “When I first met Mr Rogge in Athens in 2004, he told me his hands were tied by the IOC. I replied: ‘Your hands are not tied; my husband’s and his friends’ hands were tied. Why don’t you finish your presidency by doing what you must morally do?’

“He just looked at me – but he was too weak to do anything about it.”

Ms Spitzer claimed that Mr Rogge was a “coward” who could not stand up to the “corruption” of his organisation.

Last updated: 1:20pm, February 27 2014