American Olympian Honors The Munich Dead Even Though The IOC Won’t

On Tuesday, American gymnast Aly Raisman won a gold medal in the Floor Exercise and, in the process, did something that the International Olympic Committee was apparently too cowardly to do:

It wasn’t a gloved-fist salute from the medal stand, but Jewish-American gymnast Aly Raisman made quite a statement yesterday by winning a gold medal and invoking the memory of the Israeli athletes killed 40 years ago in Munich.

Raisman finished first in the women’s floor exercise, but she deserves to have another medal draped around her neck for having the chutzpah to face the world and do what needed to be done and say what needed to be said.

At the same Olympic Games where bigoted organizers stubbornly refuse to honor the slain athletes with a moment of silence, 18-year-old Raisman loudly shocked observers first by winning, then by paying her own tribute to 11 sportsmen who died long before she was born.

And if that weren’t enough, she won her event with the Hebrew folk song “Hava Nagila” playing in the background.

“Having that floor music wasn’t intentional,” an emotional but poised Raisman told reporters after her performance.

“But the fact it was on the 40th anniversary is special, and winning the gold today means a lot to me.”

Then Raisman stuck the landing.

“If there had been a moment’s silence,” the 18-year-old woman told the world, “I would have supported it and respected it.”

Good for you, kid.

I’m not much of a gymnastics fan, but here’s the video:

FILED UNDER: Sports, Terrorism, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Mikey says:

    What a fantastic young woman. The IOC’s refusal to honor those murdered in 1972 is shameful. I’m glad she had the opportunity to honor them, even if only on her own.

  2. anjin-san says:

    It’s still bone chilling to think about Munich. What a bunch of f**king pussies the IOC are.

  3. Me Me Me says:

    I’m totally fine with the absence of official observance:
    1) We do not traditionally consider 40 to be a particularly significant anniversary
    2) These are London’s Olympics, not Munich’s, not Israel’s
    3) The events in Munich have nothing to do with the 99% of the athletes at these games.

  4. Ben says:

    @Me Me Me:

    a) Since the Olympics is every 4 years, we won’t have an Olympics on any of the big ones (10th, 25th, 50th anniversary). The next “big” one when an actual Olympics will be held is the 100 year anniversary. Should they wait that long before commemorating it?

    b) The events in Munich should have been horrific and chilling to the entire world.

    c) The events at Pearl Harbor have nothing to do with most people alive now. Should we stop commemorating it?

  5. Me Me Me says:

    The IOC can hold a commemoration outside of the Olympics itself, in Munich, in Israel.

    The events in Munich were horrific and chilling to the entire world. Lets not give terrorists any further reminders of their asymmetrical power if they are willing to be bloody minded enough.

    When was the last time you attended a Pearl Harbor commemoration outside of Hawaii?

  6. MarkedMan says:

    The IOC dishonored themselves and the Olympics by chosing to hide under the bed on this.

  7. Ben says:

    When was the last time you attended a Pearl Harbor commemoration outside of Hawaii?

    Are you kidding? Did you ever go to or watch a sporting event on a December 7? There is always some sort of ceremony and flag-waving.

  8. Me Me Me says:

    Not in London there isn’t.