How swimming legend Mark Spitz fled Munich from terrorists

How swimming legend Mark Spitz fled Munich from terrorists
How swimming legend Mark Spitz fled Munich from terrorists

Fifty years after the Munich Olympic massacre, Mark Spitz talked about his dramatic journey from the Olympic city, which was very special to him.

During the terrorist attack by the Palestinian commandos, eleven Israeli soldiers were killed. And Spitz, and the US representative, was so id.

Therefore, the organizers and security personnel considered him a potential terrorist.

Less than 24 hours after I won my seventh Olympic gold in Munich, I found myself in confusion and horror, when only eleven Israeli men drank for their lives, Spitz recalled 50 years later. That day, the biggest sporting event turned into a massacre and turned my perception of sports upside down. It took me many years before I could feel again that I fully grasped the true inspiration and service of sport.

After the end of his seductive program in Munich, Spitz 4. zs led several newspapers.

The following morning, he arrived at a press conference planned for the future, without even knowing that a terrorist attack had taken place in the village, which by that time had claimed two lives. And – and it seems incomprehensible – he was not informed about this tragic event by his right-hand man, nor the organizers.

That is why he again became the target of criticism for his answers, in which, according to the listeners, he did not reflect the gravity of the situation (which he knew nothing about).

At that time, it was decided that Spitze would leave the Olympic village for free.

After the press conference, I was sitting in my room in the village, watching TV, and there were constant comments: Let’s assume that Mark Spitz, who has finished his swimming program for the summer, is now safe in Italy, said Spitz.

Later, on the other hand, information appeared on television that he had been transferred to the village.

I don’t know if they did it to confuse the fall of the tons, because I was still in my room in the village and it took a few hours, we didn’t have a definite full, repeated Spitz during his recent meeting with reporters.

Then they put me and the trainer in the back seat of the car, told me to hide, and gave my dog ​​a blanket. After about five minutes, they told me to sit down again, and they took us to the flight. And then we sat on the plane to London.

After entering the British capital, he was placed under armed protection in a hotel room.

We didn’t know what was happening in Germany, but when we woke up the next morning, he told us what had happened the previous evening, when the surviving athletes were killed, Spitz recalled.

Ten years later, he traveled to Israel and met some of the children of Israeli Olympians who were fighting for their lives in Munich at the time.

We understood each other for a long time. First, because I am Jewish, and secondly, because I was at the same Olympics with their fathers, he claimed.

Spitz additionally supported the decision that the organizers of the games in Munich, despite many protests, let the games be completed even after the terrorist attack.

I know that the athletes who were murdered in Munich would agree with the regional meeting. Only to confirm the main idea behind the action, he told the BBC.

In the years that followed, he observed how spending on security increased dramatically during the Olympic Games. First, after Munich, and then go sharply after the terrorist flow of 11. from 2001.

The Olympiads were given a whole new dimension. All of these things are one of the things that unfortunately affect our lives. One of them confirmed that terrorist flows are definitely not limited to sports events.

After a stunning gold medal in Munich 1972, Spitz ended a seductive career at the top at just 22 years old, with 33 world records to his credit. At Indian University, he studied orthodontics, the science of dental correction. He was involved in advertising and was also a television commentator.

At the age of 41, he surprised many when he tried to qualify for the Games in Barcelona 1992, he did not have a bag at the Anci.

Mark Spitz fifty years since the Munich Olympics

His seemingly unbeatable record of seven gold medals from a single Olympics was only surpassed by Michael Phelps in Beijing 2008 by eight times.

And now, at the age of 72, Spitz admits that he was inspired by the Romanian swimmer David Popovici.

I remind myself of myself in that his body is not fully developed in terms of strength, he pointed out. She swims freestyle, and that is a strength discipline. I just can’t imagine what he will be able to do.

The article is in Czech

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