Olympic Jewish Gymanst Aly Raisman Cites 40th Anniversary of Slain Israelis After Winning Gold
After a flawless floor routine, performed to the tune of “Hava Nagila”, U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman won her second gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and then invoked the memory of the 11 slain Israeli athletes and coaches killed at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
“Having that floor music wasn’t intentional,” said Raisman, who became the first American woman to win gold in the floor exercise. “But the fact it was on the 40th anniversary is special, and winning the gold today means a lot to me.”
Confirming what she told The Algemeiner in July, Raisman, who is Jewish, remarked to reporters in London that she would have stood behind the decision to hold a minute of silence to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the murders in Munich, had the International Olympic Committee decided to agree to it.
“If there had been a moment’s silence, I would have supported it and respected it,” she said.
A petition started by Ankie Spitzer, the widow of one of the slain Israeli team members, garnered significant attention around the world, and led politicians in the U.S., Canada, Israel, and Europe to support the cause. Despite President Obama’s pledged support for the minute of silence, IOC President Jacques Rogge decided against it.