Another Story – I Was There But I Wasn’t

Munich Olympics 1972 and the Black September Massacre.

The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad and commonly known as Munich 1972, was an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from 26 August to 11 September 1972.

There was a terrorist attack on Israeli Olympic team members at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich orchestrated by affiliates of the Palestinian militant group Black September. The Munich Games marked the first return of the Olympics to a German city since the 1936 Games in Berlin. In an ensuing shootout at the Munich airport, the nine Israeli hostages were killed along with five terrorists and one West German policeman. Olympic competition was suspended for 24 hours to hold memorial services for the slain athletes.

For some eight months I had been training with the Dragon Keelboat class for the Summer Olympics at my home sailing club at Grafham Water. When the chips were counted I was one of two runners-up and qualified to go to Munich to continue training until the start cannon.  Okay so I got a freebie but would you turn down the chance? By the way I worked my socks off.

Now for the confession that I really wasn’t there. You see all the sailing competitions took place, not in Munich but some 900 Kilometres away at least an 8 hours drive away, in Kiel Harbour. I was going to say that we missed all the fun but that would be sick.

That dreadful massacre was masterminded at a safe arm’s length by the evil Yasser Arafat whom later on became lauded by the anti semites in the UK.   The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1994.  Obviously I have a longer memory than they have.  Arafat died unexpectedly on 11 November 2004, 75 years of age, after a short period of illness. The cause of his death has since been debated, although several different theories concerning it have been suggested. Hmm!

While I’m busy coughing up my faults I have to admit ( no I didn’t bump off Arafat) but on our return  after the closing ceremony all our friends and relatives were full of questions telling us how worried they had been, knowing that we had been in such danger.  It was probably my training in the SBS – “By Strength and Guile”, that we never talk of our experiences or exploits!  So I kept Schtum!  Ready about!

About Jake

Long retired travel writer, author and freelance journalist. Educated at Wolverton Grammar and Greenwich Naval College. Happily married since 1958, with a married son and daughter, a married granddaughter and an adult grandson. Hobbies rock-climbing, dinghy racing and ocean racing. Still regularly working out in the gym.
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