In My Opinion
IOC's Lack of Compassion Is Why I Can No Longer Watch The Olympics
It is with a heavy heart that I write this article, and the crushing reality that as much as we'd like to think that we are all a part of this inclusive human race, when it comes to terrorism we are a race divided by fear and ignorance. I used to believe the Olympics were the one last bastion where creed, gender and race played no roles. In the world of competitive gaming- there was no distinction between any of us- it was the ultimate level playing field where you could be judged SOLELY on your performance. The politics of your country, your religion, even your sexuality played absolutely no role in your success at these games.
Which is why the fact that the International Olympic Committee refuses to take a moment of silence at the 2012 Games for the families of the victims of the 1972 Munich massacre, in which 11 Israeli Olympics athletes and coaches were murdered by Palestinian terrorists has me bewildered and disillusioned. Despite the fact that this global campaign to hold an official moment of silence has been endorsed by President Obama, GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the U.S. Senate, the German Bundestag, the Canadian and Australian parliaments, about 50 members of the British Parliament, the Israeli government, Jewish organizations worldwide and about 100 members of Australia’s Parliament, the IOC has rejected it.
Why does this incense me so? Because this was a human tragedy- this was not a political tragedy. These athletes who came to compete at the Olympics spent years studying and honing their craft and were there to be judged solely based on that. The Olympics are supposed to be a celebration of the power of the human spirit and its ability to push its physical self beyond what humans believe their physical prowess can do. And these 11 Israeli Olympians who attended the 1972 Olympics had this same goal, this same vision. They were first and foremost athletes, who were dealt a cruel and unusual death at what should've been the most joyous and celebratory moments of their lives.
As an athletic community, I would think the IOC would at the very least want to take a moment of silence to recognize and pay tribute to athletes who supported and honored the Olympic tradition, and in doing so paid very dearly with their lives. The fact that The IOC has refused to honor these athletes with a simple moment of silence- simply leaves a bad taste in my mouth and has me questioning everything about the Olympic process, and whether or not it is truly a testament to the human experience. And I am not alone in my distaste with these Olympic games, several other women share my disillusionment with the IOC and it has colored their feelings about viewing it this year as well.
Aliza Worthington "I consider any act of terrorism a HUMAN tragedy to be mourned – a direct assault on HUMANITY. The IOC seems not to. Its refusal to hold a moment of silence over the 17-day course of the 2012 Olympics for Israeli Olympians slain DURING THE OLYMPICS of 1972 is nothing short of shameful." From my most recent blog post, "Doing the Right Thing." I have already told my older kids about it, and I'm debating how to discuss it with the 8YO. We'll be taping the opening ceremonies so I can at least watch the Israeli delegation come in, and to see how Bob Costas handles it.
Tanya Toledano: We will not be watching, and although I'm not the biggest watcher of Olympics to begin with, we are definitely NOT. We have started speaking to our kids about it and I also spoke with my Rabbis to make sure it's being addressed in synagogue this Sabbath (They were already on it).
What is your take on the IOC's unwillingness to hold a moment of silence?