Olympic gymnast backs Munich memorial silence

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2012
Alexandra Raisman

Alexandra Raisman

A Jewish gymnast who is set to compete in the London Olympics has called for the IOC to commemorate the victims of the Munich massacre with a minute's silence.

More than 92,000 people have backed Ankie Spitzer – the widow of one of the Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Olympics – in her bid to convince the Olympic organiser to honour the victims in this way.

Alexandra Raisman, 18, who is on the American Olympic team, told the New York-based Algemeiner website that she thought a silence "would be a really great thing that I'd want to take part in".

"Obviously what happened is really devastating and will hopefully never happen again," said the teenage gymnast from Massachusets, who won a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships.

"The ceremony would be very nice to commemorate what happened, and I think they should do it definitely, for the families of the people."

Ms Raisman, who said it was "an honour" to compete as a Jewish athlete in the London games, made waves last summer by performing her routine to the tune of Hava Nagila.

Last updated: 3:04pm, July 13 2012