The Olympics

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1972 Munich Olympics

The 1972 Munich Olympics started out as any other Olympics would with a great opening ceremony and many excited and nervous athletes. One hundred and twenty one nations came to participate in the 1972 Munich Olympics and they competed in one hundred and ninety five events. They even had a couple demonstration sports like badminton and water skiing. Other than that the 1972 Munich Olympics had many of the same sports that people loved to watch during the summer Olympics. Handball and archery also came back into 1972 Munich Olympics, after a lengthy time of not being events. Mark Spitz who was an American swimmer won a world record seven gold medals this year as well. There were also many other historical events that year at the Summer Olympics. The American basketball team had never been defeated in an Olympic basketball game; they were 62-0 in the Olympics the USA ended up losing to the Soviet Union and then they refused the silver medal due to some controversy. Another US swimmer was stripped of his gold medal for taking asthma medication, and two other Americans were banned for life from Olympic competition for fooling around on the podium.

With six days left of the 1972 Munich Olympics tragedy struck when terrorists broke into the Olympic compound and murdered two Jewish Israeli team members and took nine others hostage. The nine Israeli team members were murdered the next day when the terrorists got into a shootout with the West German Police Department. The world was shocked by this tragedy and the 1972 Olympics went down in history with this being referred to as The Munich Massacre. American swimmer Mark Spitz was of Jewish descent so he was told to leave the country because they feared that he might become another victim of the terrorism. Olympic competition was stopped for the next twenty four hours there was a memorial service held at the stadium and the International Olympic Committee decided the games would continue.