Obama backs Munich silence despite IOC stance

By Jennifer Lipman, July 20, 2012

The US President has given his backing to the calls for a minute’s silence at the London Olympics in memory of the Munich massacre 40 years ago.

White House official Tommy Vietor said on Thursday that the president “absolutely” supported the campaign for this tribute, launched by the widow of one of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the September 1972 Games.

In response to the president’s support, which comes following backing from the US congress, the son of one of the victims expressed his appreciation.

Guri Weinberg, whose father Moni was wrestling coach for the 1972 Israeli team, tweeted: "I'm literally crying right now. Thank you, President Obama".

He later told Yahoo News: "No other US president has ever come out this way on behalf of the Munich victims.

"I hope that more world leaders follow his example of courage and conviction, despite political fallout they might incur for doing so."

On Thursday the petition crossed the threshold of 100,000 signatures. But the International Olympic Committee remains unmoved.

Two of the women left widows after the Munich massacre, Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, are planning to present the petition to the IOC in London on Tuesday

Last updated: 10:09am, July 20 2012