1972 Munich Olympics

50th Anniversary of 1972 Olympics Massacre Falls in Year of Beijing Winter Games

The Olympic flag, foreground, and flags of participating nations are flown at half-staff during a commemoration ceremony for the victims of the Munich Olympic massacre at the Munich, southern Germany, Olympic stadium in this Sept. 6, 1972 file photo.
AP

The Beijing Games opened exactly seven months before the world is set to mark 50 years since the deadly attack in the Olympic Village in 1972.

Five decades ago, 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were slain at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The 11 Israelis, and a German policeman, died after a raid by Palestinian gunmen in the athletes' village, the worst terror attack in Olympic history.

Eight Palestinian terrorists from the group called Black September invaded the Olympic Village where they killed some Israelis and took others hostage. Then, after a standoff lasting many hours, there was a wild gun battle at the airport.

Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held a moment of remembrance at the Opening Ceremony.

The festivities of the Opening Ceremony took a brief pause, as athletes and officials observed a moment of silence in remembrance of both the lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those killed during the 1972 Games.

The families of the 11 members of the Israeli delegation killed at the Munich Games had long lobbied for a moment of silence on their behalf. It was granted for the first time at this Opening Ceremony.

"We, the Olympic community, also remember all the Olympians and members of our community who have so sadly left us, in particular we remember those who lost their lives during the Olympic Games," said an announcer during the Opening Ceremony.

In 2016, IOC President Thomas Bach led a minute of silence for the slain victims during the inauguration of a "place of mourning" in the athletes village in Rio de Janeiro.

Bach also read out of the name of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger killed in a training crash on the eve of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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