The Bloody Olympics: Remembering the darkest days of the Games

ny that houses Israeli athletes. The terrorists, members of a group known as Black September, killed two and took nine others hostage in return to release over 230 Arab prisoners being held in Israeli jails and two German terrorists.

The officials did not comply with their demands that resulted in a shootout at the Munich airport.  In the tragic confrontation, 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.

After a two-day suspension and following the memorial service at the main Olympic stadium, the then International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Avery Brundage ordered that the Games continue in an attempt to show that terrorism has no place in the Olympics. The Black September assassins were slain by the Israeli government, headed by Golda Meir along with a group of Mossad agents.

Atlanta 1996: Centennial Olympics park bombing

Known as the as the Centennial Olympic Games, the Atlanta 1996 was also disrupted by a terror attack. During a free concert in the Centennial Olympic Park, midway through the Games, three pipe bombs went off, killing two people and injuring 111. The then President of the organizing committee ordered the Games to continue as “the spirit of the Olympic movement mandates”.

The man behind the bombing was 29-year-old Eric Rudolph, a terrorist who hid in the mountains in western North Carolina for five years that was captured 7 years after the attack in Atlanta. Rudolph also later bombed a gay night club in 1997 and an abortion clinic in 1998. He is one of FBI’s most wanted fugitives, was sentenced to multiple terms of life imprisonment in 2005.