Why not pay tribute to the victims at the Olympic Games themselves? If the Munich tragedy, as Rogge writes, spurred the Olympic movement to build “a peaceful and better world,” shouldn’t that crucial moment be remembered? Rather than airbrush the tragedy away on its 40th anniversary, the IOC could truly do its part in “educating young people” by giving parents a chance to explain history, and the world’s geopolitical realities, to their children while watching the opening ceremonies.
Plus, it just feels like the right thing to do. A moment of silence wouldn’t be politicizing the Games. Rather, it would be remembering a human tragedy. Everyone standing in that stadium, no matter which country they represent, no matter their views on Middle East policy, would hopefully remember it as such.
Moments of silence are part of the world’s sporting culture. Such a commemoration for the ’72 event would be far from surprising. The IOC’s refusal to do so, on the other hand, is.