Italians join Israelis for Olympic minute of silence

ROME (JTA) — Italian officials joined Israelis at the Olympics in London for a minute of silence to honor the 11 Israeli athletes killed by terrorists at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Following a Mass Sunday celebrated by the chaplain of the Italian Olympic squad, the Italian delegation, including Sports Minister Piero Gnudi and the head of the Italian Olympic Committee, Giovanni Petrucci, joined Israeli sports officials at the Olympic Village.

“It was a signal that was right and proper, but not required, as part of the Olympic spirit,” Petrucci said. He said the Italians and Israelis spoke of “peace and brotherhood.”

In 1972, the Olympic spirit was “profoundly wounded,” said Gnudi. “It is right to remember what happened on this 40th anniversary.”

As to the decision of the Internatonal Olympic Committee not to hold a general moment of silence to honor the victims, despite an international campaign, he said it was difficult to evaluate the IOC’s decision because of “many complex variables that we cannot judge.”

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