Lord Coe to hold 'personal' memorial to Israeli Olympic victims

By Jessica Elgot, July 5, 2012
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A memorial for the 11 athletes killed at the Munich 1972 Olympics by Palestinian terrorists is unlikely to form part of the London 2012 opening ceremony

A memorial for the 11 athletes killed at the Munich 1972 Olympics by Palestinian terrorists is unlikely to form part of the London 2012 opening ceremony

Lord Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games, has said he will hold a "personal" memorial for Israeli athletes killed at the Munich 1972 Games during the opening ceremony in London.

He told staff at the capital's City Hall that he would mark the anniversary during a "personal moment". It is not clear how Lord Coe intends to do this.

A campaign led by Jewish leaders worldwide and Ankie Spitzer, widow of murdered fencing coach Andrei Spitzer, has so far failed to sway the International Olympic Committee, which has repeatedly refused to agree to a minute's silence forming part of the opening ceremony.

Lord Coe met members of staff at City Hall for a “Tea Break” session, to thank them for their work on the London Games. He was quizzed on plans for a memorial.

Two separate memorial events are planned this summer for the Munich athletes. One is organised by the Israeli Embassy, Israeli Olympic Committee and the Jewish community in London on August 6 and the other, organised by the Zionist Federation a month later, will mark the anniversary of the massacre.

More than 50 British MPs, led by Conservative Bob Blackman, have signed an Early Day Motion calling for a minute's silence, and the governments of Germany, Australia, the US Senate and Canada have called for a silence to be observed.

Last updated: 12:20pm, July 6 2012