1972 Summer Olympics

The 1972 Summer Olympics (German: Olympische Sommerspiele 1972), officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972.

The sporting nature of the event was largely overshadowed by the Munich massacre in the second week, in which eleven Israeli athletes and coaches and a West German police officer at Olympic village were killed by Black September terrorists.

The 1972 Summer Olympics were the second Summer Olympics to be held in Germany, after the 1936 Games in Berlin, which had taken place under the Nazi regime. The West German Government had been eager to have the Munich Olympics present a democratic and optimistic Germany to the world, as shown by the Games' official motto, "Die Heiteren Spiele",[2] or "the cheerful Games".[3] The logo of the Games was a blue solar logo (the "Bright Sun") by Otl Aicher, the designer and director of the visual conception commission.[4] The Olympic mascot, the dachshund "Waldi", was the first officially named Olympic mascot. The Olympic Fanfare was composed by Herbert Rehbein.[5]

The Olympic Park (Olympiapark) is based on Frei Otto's plans and after the Games became a Munich landmark. The competition sites, designed by architect Günther Behnisch, included the Olympic swimming hall, the Olympics Hall (Olympiahalle, a multipurpose facility) and the Olympic Stadium (Olympiastadion), and an Olympic village very close to the park. The design of the stadium was considered revolutionary, with sweeping canopies of acrylic glass stabilized by metal ropes, used on such a large scale for the first time.[6]

Games of the XX Olympiad
1972 Summer Olympics logo
Host cityMunich, West Germany
MottoThe Cheerful Games
(German: Heitere Spiele)
Nations121
Athletes7,134 (6,075 men, 1,059 women)
Events195 in 21 sports (28 disciplines)
Opening26 August
Closing10 September
Opened by
Cauldron
Günther Zahn[1]
StadiumOlympiastadion
Summer
Mexico City 1968 Montreal 1976
Winter
Sapporo 1972 Innsbruck 1976

Host city selection

Munich won its Olympic bid on April 26, 1966, at the 64th IOC Session at Rome, Italy, over bids presented by Detroit, Madrid, and Montréal. Montréal would eventually host the following Olympic games in 1976.[8]

Munich massacre

The Games were largely overshadowed by what has come to be known as the "Munich massacre". Just before dawn on September 5, a group of eight members of the Black September terrorist organization broke into the Olympic Village and took eleven Israeli athletes, coaches and officials hostage in their apartments. Two of the hostages who resisted were killed in the first moments of the break-in; the subsequent standoff in the Olympic Village lasted for almost 18 hours.

Late in the evening of September 5 that same day, the terrorists and their nine remaining hostages were transferred by helicopter to the military airport of Fürstenfeldbruck, ostensibly to board a plane bound for an undetermined Arab country. The German authorities planned to ambush them there, but underestimated the numbers of their opposition and were thus undermanned. During a botched rescue attempt, all of the Israeli hostages were killed. Four of them were shot, then incinerated when one of the terrorists detonated a grenade inside the helicopter in which the hostages were sitting. The 5 remaining hostages were then machine-gunned to death.

All but three of the terrorists were killed as well. Although arrested and imprisoned pending trial, they were released by the West German government on October 29, 1972, in exchange for a hijacked Lufthansa jet. Two of those three were supposedly hunted down and assassinated later by the Mossad.[10] Jamal Al-Gashey, who is believed to be the sole survivor, is still living today in hiding in an unspecified African country with his wife and two children. The Olympic events were suspended several hours after the initial attack, but once the incident was concluded, Avery Brundage, the International Olympic Committee president, declared that "the Games must go on". A memorial ceremony was then held in the Olympic stadium, and the competitions resumed after a stoppage of 24 hours. The attack prompted heightened security at subsequent Olympics beginning with the 1976 Winter Olympics. Security at Olympics was heightened further beginning with the 2002 Winter Olympics, as they were the first to take place after the 2001 September 11 attacks.

The massacre led the German federal government to re-examine its anti-terrorism policies, which at the time were dominated by a pacifist approach adopted after World War II. This led to the creation of the elite counter-terrorist unit GSG 9, similar to the British SAS. It also led Israel to launch a campaign known as Operation Wrath of God, in which those suspected of involvement were systematically tracked down and assassinated.

The events of the Munich massacre were chronicled in the Oscar-winning documentary, One Day in September.[11] An account of the aftermath is also dramatized in three films: the 1976 made-for-TV movie 21 Hours at Munich, the 1986 made-for-TV movie Sword of Gideon[12] and Steven Spielberg's 2005 film Munich.[13] In her film 1972, Artist Sarah Morris interviews Dr. Georg Sieber, a former police psychiatrist who advised the Olympics' security team, about the events and aftermath of Black September.[14]

Highlights

Olympic games 1972 pictogramms olympic station 0877 a
Otl Aicher's signage pictograms designed for the Munich Olympic Games
Olimpiai Stadion, az olimpia megnyitóünnepsége. Fortepan 73767
Procession of athletes in the Olympic Stadium- 1972 Summer Olympics, Munich, Germany
  • These were the final Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Avery Brundage.
  • Mark Spitz set a world record when he won seven gold medals (while on the way to setting a new world record for each of his seven gold medals) in a single Olympics, bringing his lifetime total to nine (he had won two golds in Mexico City's Games four years earlier). Being Jewish, Spitz was asked to leave Munich before the closing ceremonies for his own protection, after fears arose that he would be an additional target of those responsible for the Munich massacre. Spitz's record stood until 2008, when it was beaten by Michael Phelps who won eight gold medals in the pool.
  • Olga Korbut, a Soviet gymnast, became a media star after winning a gold medal in the team competition event, failing to win in the individual all-around after a fall (she was beaten by teammate Lyudmilla Turischeva), and finally winning two gold medals in the Balance Beam and the floor exercise events.
  • In the final of the men's basketball, the United States lost to the Soviet Union in what is widely considered as the most controversial game in international basketball history.[15] In a close-fought match, the U.S. team had appeared to have won by a score of 50–49. However, the final 3 seconds of the game were replayed three times until the Soviet team came out on top and claimed a 51–50 victory.[16] Ultimately the U.S team refused to accept their silver medals, which remain held in a vault in Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Lasse Virén of Finland won the 5,000 and 10,000 m (the latter after a fall), a feat he repeated in the 1976 Summer Olympics.
  • Valeriy Borzov of the Soviet Union won both the 100 m and 200 m in track and field.
  • The 100 metres event was notable for the absence of favorites and world record holders Eddie Hart and Rey Robinson for their quarterfinal heats. American sprint coach Stan Wright, was given wrong starting time. All three qualified American athletes were at the ABC television headquarters watching what they thought were replays of their morning preliminary races. In fact, they were watching live coverage of the races they should have been in. Hart and Robinson, scheduled in the first two races, missed their heats. The athletes rushed to the stadium, with Robert Taylor hurrying to take off his warm up uniform before running the later heat.
  • Two American 400 m runners, Vincent Matthews (gold medalist) and Wayne Collett (silver medalist), staged a protest on the victory podium, talking to each other and failing to stand at attention during the medal ceremony.[17][17] They were banned by the IOC, as Tommie Smith and John Carlos had been in the 1968 Summer Olympics. Since John Smith had pulled a hamstring in the final and had been ruled unfit to run, the United States were forced to scratch from the 4×400 m relay.
  • Dave Wottle won the men's 800 m, after being last for the first 600 m, at which point he started to pass runner after runner up the final straightaway, finally grabbing the lead in the final 18 metres to win by 0.03 seconds ahead of the favorite, the Soviet Yevgeny Arzhanov. At the victory ceremony, Wottle forgot to remove his golf cap. This was interpreted by some as a form of protest against the Vietnam War, but Wottle later apologized.
  • Australian swimmer Shane Gould won three gold medals, a silver, and a bronze medal at the age of 15.
  • Hurdler Abdalá Bucaram carried the Ecuadorian flag at the opening ceremony. 24 years later he became the President of Ecuador. In Munich, he had to pull out of his event due to injury.
  • Handball (last held in 1936) and Archery (last held in 1920) returned as Olympic sports after a long absence.
  • Slalom canoeing was held for the first time at the Olympics.
  • Dan Gable won the gold medal in wrestling without having a single point scored against him. No other athlete has ever accomplished such a feat in Olympic wrestling.
  • Wim Ruska became the first judoka to win two gold medals.
  • For the first time, the Olympic Oath was taken by a representative of the referees.
  • American Frank Shorter, who was born in Munich, became the first from his country in 64 years to win the Olympic marathon. As Shorter was nearing the stadium, German student Norbert Sudhaus entered the stadium wearing a track uniform, joined the race and ran the last kilometre; thinking he was the winner, the crowd began cheering him before officials realized the hoax and security escorted Sudhaus off the track. Arriving seconds later, Shorter was understandably perplexed to see someone ahead of him and to hear the boos and catcalls meant for Sudhaus. This was the third time in Olympic history that an American had won the marathon (after Thomas Hicks 1904 and Johnny Hayes 1908) — and in none of those three instances did the winner enter the stadium first.
1972olympiadCOIN
Munich Olympics commemorative 10-mark coin, 1972

Venues

Munich - Olympiapark 3
Aerial view of the Olympiapark.

Cost

The Oxford Olympics Study established the outturn cost of the Munich 1972 Summer Olympics at USD 1.0 billion in 2015-dollars.[18] This includes sports-related costs only, that is, (i) operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g., expenditures for technology, transportation, workforce, administration, security, catering, ceremonies, and medical services, and (ii) direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build, e.g., the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, and media and press center, which are required to host the Games. Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games. The cost for Munich 1972 compares with costs of USD 4.6 billion for Rio 2016, USD 15 billion for London 2012 (the most costly Summer Olympics to date) and USD 51 billion for Sochi 2014 — the most expensive Olympic Games in history.[19] Average cost for Summer Games since 1960 is USD 5.2 billion.

Sports

The 1972 Summer Olympic programme featured 195 events in the following 21 sports:

Demonstration sports

Participating National Olympic Committees

1972 Summer Olympic games countries
Participants
1972 Summer olympics team numbers
Number of competitors per nation.

Eleven nations made their first Olympic appearance in Munich: Albania, Dahomey (now Benin), Gabon, North Korea, Lesotho, Malawi, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Swaziland, Togo, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso).

Rhodesia's invitation to take part in the 1972 Summer Games was withdrawn by the International Olympic Committee four days before the opening ceremony, in response to African countries' (such as Ethiopia and Kenya) protests against the Rhodesian government. (Rhodesia did, however, compete in the 1972 Summer Paralympics, held a little earlier in Heidelberg.)[20][21]

Calendar

All times are in Central European Time (UTC+1)
OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Gold medal events MS Memorial service CC Closing ceremony
August/September 26th
Sat
27th
Sun
28th
Mon
29th
Tue
30th
Wed
31st
Thu
1st
Fri
2nd
Sat
3rd
Sun
4th
Mon
5th
Tue
6th
Wed
7th
Thu
8th
Fri
9th
Sat
10th
Sun
11th
Mon
Events
Olympic Rings Icon.svg Ceremonies OC MS CC N/A
Archery 2 2
Athletics 2 2 5 6 3 7 2 3 8 38
Basketball 1 1
Boxing 11 11
Canoeing 1 3 7 11
Cycling 1 1 2 1 1 1 7
Diving 1 1 1 1 4
Equestrian 2 1 1 1 1 6
Fencing 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
Field hockey 1 1
Football 1 1
Gymnastics 1 1 2 4 6 14
Handball 1 1
Judo 1 1 1 1 1 5
Modern pentathlon 2 2
Rowing 7 7
Sailing 6 6
Shooting 1 1 1 1 2 2 8
Swimming 3 4 4 3 3 4 4 4 29
Volleyball 1 1 2
Water polo 1 1
Weightlifting 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 9
Wrestling 10 10 20
Daily medal events 2 8 8 13 27 16 23 14 13 2 16 3 26 23 1 195
Cumulative total 2 10 18 31 58 74 97 111 124 126 142 145 171 194 195
August/September 26th
Sat
27th
Sun
28th
Mon
29th
Tue
30th
Wed
31st
Thu
1st
Fri
2nd
Sat
3rd
Sun
4th
Mon
5th
Tue
6th
Wed
7th
Thu
8th
Fri
9th
Sat
10th
Sun
11th
Mon
Total events


‡ No medal events were contested and no medals were awarded on 5 September as all Olympic competitions were suspended during the course of the day for a period of twenty four hours due to the Munich massacre.

Note: The Memorial service was held in the Olympic Stadium on 6 September which was attended by 80,000 spectators and 3,000 athletes. Following this all Olympic competitions were then allowed to resume.

Medal count

These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1972 Games.

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Soviet Union50272299
2 United States33313094
3 East Germany20232366
4 West Germany*13111640
5 Japan138829
6 Australia87217
7 Poland75921
8 Hungary6131635
9 Bulgaria610521
10 Italy531018
Totals (10 nations)161138141440
Key

  *   Host nation (West Germany)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b "Factsheet - Opening Ceremony of the Games of the Olympiad" (PDF) (Press release). International Olympic Committee. 9 October 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Ein Geschenk der Deutschen an sich selbst". Der Spiegel (in German) (35/1972). August 21, 1972. pp. 28–29. … für die versprochene Heiterkeit der Spiele, die den Berliner Monumentalismus von 1936 vergessen machen und dem Image der Bundesrepublik in aller Welt aufhelfen sollen
  3. ^ Digitized version of the Official Report of the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXth Olympiad Munich 1972 (Volume 2) (PDF) (in German). proSport GmbH & Co. KG. München Ed. Herbert Kunze. 1972. p. 22. … the theme of the "cheerful Games"…
  4. ^ "Official Emblem – Munich 1972 Olympics". Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  5. ^ Herbert Rehbein: Olympic Fanfare Munich 1972 (TV Intro)
  6. ^ Uhrig, Klaus (March 20, 2014). "Die gebaute Utopie: Das Münchner Olympiastadion" (in German). Archived from the original on February 13, 2015. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  7. ^ "Past Olympic host city election results". GamesBids. Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  8. ^ "IOC VOTE HISTORY". aldaver.com.
  9. ^ "Transcend – Munich Massacre". Bleacher Report Media Lab. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  10. ^ Countering Terrorism: The Israeli Response To The 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre And The Development Of Independence Covert Action Teams, M.A. thesis by Alexander B. Calahan at Marine Corps Command and Staff College, 1995.
  11. ^ Deming, Mark. "Movies – One Day in September (1999)". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  12. ^ "Television – Sword of Gideon". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  13. ^ Dargis, Manohla. "An Action Film About the Need to Talk". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  14. ^ Herbert, Martin. "Sarah Morris". frieze.com. Frieze Magazine. Archived from the original on 18 December 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  15. ^ "USA Basketball". Archived from the original on 2007-08-22.
  16. ^ "120 years, 120 stories (Part 15) : Soviets beat the Americans amidst controversies involving communist judges". Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Schiller, K.; Young, C. (2010). The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany. Weimar and now. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-26213-3. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  18. ^ Flyvbjerg, Bent; Stewart, Allison; Budzier, Alexander (2016). The Oxford Olympics Study 2016: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Games. Oxford: Saïd Business School Working Papers (Oxford: University of Oxford). pp. 9–13. SSRN 2804554.
  19. ^ "Sochi 2014: the costliest Olympics yet but where has all the money gone?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  20. ^ "1972: Rhodesia out of Olympics"
  21. ^ "Rhodesia expelled", Montreal Gazette, August 23, 1972

External links

Further reading

  • Schiller, Kay, and Christopher Young. The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany (University of California Press; 2010) 348 pages
  • Preuss, Holger. The Economics of Staging the Olympics: A Comparison of the Games, 1972–2008 (2006)
  • Oxlade, Chris, et al. Olympics. Rev. ed. London: DK, 2005. Print.
Preceded by
Mexico City
Summer Olympic Games
Munich

XX Olympiad (1972)
Succeeded by
Montreal
Athletics at the 1972 Summer Olympics

At the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, 38 events in athletics were contested, 24 for men and 14 for women. There were a total number of 1324 participating athletes from 104 countries.

Athletics at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Men's 4 × 100 metres relay

The men's 4 × 100 metres relay was held on 9 and 10 September 1972.

Australia at the 1972 Summer Olympics

Australia competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. Australian athletes have competed in every Summer Olympic Games. 168 competitors, 139 men and 29 women, took part in 110 events in 20 sports.

Basketball at the 1972 Summer Olympics

Basketball contests at the 1972 Summer Olympics took place at Rudi-Sedlmayer-Halle in Munich, Germany from August 27 to September 9. The Soviet Union controversially won the gold medal against the United States. This was the first time the USA did not win a gold medal since the sport's introduction into the Olympics in 1936. The bronze was won by Cuba, the only Olympic medal they have won in basketball.

Boxing at the 1972 Summer Olympics

These are the final results for the boxing competition at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The competition was held from 27 August to 10 September with the participation of 354 fighters from 80 countries.

East Germany at the 1972 Summer Olympics

Athletes from East Germany (German Democratic Republic, called DDR in the opening ceremony) competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. 297 competitors, 231 men and 66 women, took part in 161 events in 18 sports.

Finland at the 1972 Summer Olympics

Finland competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. 96 competitors, 89 men and 7 women, took part in 75 events in 16 sports.

Football at the 1972 Summer Olympics

The 1972 Olympic football tournament, held in Munich, Augsburg, Ingolstadt, Nürnberg, Passau, and Regensburg, was played as part of the 1972 Summer Olympics. The tournament features 16 men's national teams from five continental confederations. The 16 teams are drawn into four groups of four and each group plays a round-robin tournament. At the end of the group stage, the top two teams advanced to the second group stage, where the second-placed teams in each group advanced to the bronze medal match while the first-placed teams advanced to the gold medal match held at Olympic Stadium on 10 September 1972.

Great Britain at the 1972 Summer Olympics

Great Britain, represented by the British Olympic Association (BOA), competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. 284 competitors, 210 men and 74 women, took part in 159 events in 18 sports. British athletes have competed in every Summer Olympic Games.

The Great Britain team included 69-year-old equestrian Lorna Johnstone - the oldest British athlete ever to appear in the Olympic Games.

Italy at the 1972 Summer Olympics

Italy competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. 224 competitors, 197 men and 27 women, took part in 123 events in 19 sports.

Japan at the 1972 Summer Olympics

Japan competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. 184 competitors, 148 men and 36 women, took part in 113 events in 21 sports.

Judo at the 1972 Summer Olympics

The Judo competition at the 1972 Summer Olympics was the return of the sport following its absence at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Medals were awarded in six weight classes, and competition was restricted to men only. Among the highlights was Willem Ruska of the Netherlands winning gold medals in both the heavyweight and open class competition, becoming the first judoka to win two Olympic gold medals.

Kenya at the 1972 Summer Olympics

Kenya competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. 57 competitors, 55 men and 2 women, took part in 29 events in 4 sports.

Les Hamilton

Les Hamilton (born 7 August 1954) is a Canadian boxer. He competed in the men's bantamweight event at the 1972 Summer Olympics. In the first round he lost to Stefan Förster of East Germany.

Rowing at the 1972 Summer Olympics – Men's eight

The men's eight competition at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich took place from 27 August to 2 September at the Olympic Reggatta Course in Oberschleißheim.

Soviet Union at the 1972 Summer Olympics

The Soviet Union (USSR) competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. 371 competitors, 298 men and 73 women, took part in 180 events in 22 sports.

Swimming at the 1972 Summer Olympics

The 1972 Summer Olympics were held in Munich, West Germany, 29 events in swimming were contested. There was a total of 532 participants from 52 countries competing.Perhaps the most spectacular athletic events were in swimming. Mark Spitz of the had a spectacular run, lining up for seven events, winning seven Olympic titles and setting seven world records. The seven world records in a single Olympic meet was tied by Michael Phelps in 2008. According to the official Olympic website, "He took part in the 4×200 m one hour after his final in the 100 m butterfly. As for the 200 m freestyle gold, it was his third medal in three days" [1].

On the women's side of the competition, Shane Gould of Australia won 5 medals. She won the 200 m and 400 m freestyle as well as the 200 m individual medley, each with a new world record time. In addition, she won the silver and the bronze in the 800 m and 100 m freestyle, respectively.

In terms of records, the Olympic record was broken at least once in all 29 events. In 20 of those events, there was a new world record set.

United States at the 1972 Summer Olympics

The United States competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. 400 competitors, 316 men and 84 women, took part in 185 events in 21 sports.

Weightlifting at the 1972 Summer Olympics

The weightlifting competition at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich consisted of nine weight classes, all for men only. Two new weight classes were introduced at these Games (flyweight and super heavyweight), marking the first changes to the Olympic program since 1952. This was the last year that the Clean and press was included as one of the lifts.

1972 Summer Olympics bidding results[7]
City Country Round 1 Round 2
Munich  West Germany 29 31
Madrid Francoist Spain Spain 16 16
Montréal  Canada 6 13
Detroit  United States 6
Participating National Olympic Committees
Summer
Games
Winter
Games
Nations at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany
Africa
America
Asia
Europe
Oceania
Events at the 1972 Summer Olympics (Munich)
Venues of the 1972 Summer Olympics (Munich)
Olympiapark
Greater Munich
Football venues
Handball venues
Other venues

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