American gymnast Aly Raisman has revealed theÂ music for her gold medal-winning floorÂ routine at the London Olympics was a tribute to the victims of the 1972 MunichÂ Games terror attack.
The 18-year-oldÂ said choosing Hava Nagila- a traditional score used for wedding dances and batÂ mitzvah – was a response to theÂ International Olympic Committee’s failure to mark theÂ 40th anniversary of the tragedy.
And for Aly,Â from Needham, Massachusetts, she said itÂ made her gold even more special.
‘I can only imagine how painful it must beÂ for the families and close personal friends of the victims,’ sheÂ said.
‘I am Jewish, that’s why I wanted that floorÂ music,’ she told the New YorkÂ Post. ‘I wanted something the crowdÂ could clap to, especially being here in London.
‘It makes it even much more if the audienceÂ is going through everything with you. That was really cool and fun to hear theÂ audience clapping.’
Eleven Israeli athletes were killed duringÂ the 1972 Munich Olympic Games in the now infamous PalestinianÂ terrorist attack. Only recently it has been revealed GermanÂ neo-Nazis helped them.
A campaign was launched by Israeli officials and theÂ widow of one of the victims for a minute’s silence during the openingÂ ceremonyÂ but IOC president Jacques Rogge ruled that out.
President Obama also threw his support behindÂ the call for a commemoration of theÂ massacre at the LondonÂ Olympics.
NBC’s Bob Costas also blasted the decision,Â saying it was ‘insensitive’ andÂ held his own moment of silence when IsraeliÂ athletes marched into the Olympic Stadium.
‘She’s very proud and upfrontÂ about beingÂ Jewish. Neither she nor her family explicitly sought to send a message. But itÂ shows how very integrated her Jewish heritage is inÂ everything that sheÂ does.’
Rabbi Stern toldÂ the New YorkÂ Post that he was also stunned by theÂ IOC’s refusal to hold a moment of silence during the event.
‘I’m happy to hear any otherÂ explanation,’Â he said. ‘But short of some racist grudge somebody isÂ holding, I can’t figureÂ out why it would be a terrible thing to do.’
The Rabbi said he watched the routineÂ andÂ was blown away.
‘I have to say, the statement just warmed meÂ to the very depths of my being,’ he said.
He compared it to the iconicÂ black-power,Â raised-fist protest made by track stars John Carlos andÂ Tommie Smith on theÂ medal stand at the 1968 Mexico City Games.
‘They’re not going to forget that,’ the rabbiÂ said. ‘I certainly won’t.’
Eventually, a low-key tribute in front of 100Â people was paid at the signing of the Olympic Truce inÂ London’s Olympic Village after the Games opened,Â the first time it has happened inside an athletes village.
This was not the first time the IOC passedÂ over a moment of silence.
In the 2002 Olympics held in Salt Lake City -Â and largely organised byÂ Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney -Â organisers marked theÂ 30th anniversary but did not hold a moment ofÂ silence.
There was also aÂ separate commemoration forÂ the victims of September 11th.
During coverage of this Olympics, U.S.Â broadcaster NBC has sparked anger in the host country after cutting away fromÂ the Opening Ceremony when a tribute to theÂ victims of the London 7/7 bombingsÂ was shown.
The station said the tribute to theÂ devastating attack – which killed 52Â people and left many with life-changing injuries – ‘wasn’t tailored to a U.S.Â audience’. It showed an interview with swimmer Michael PhelpsÂ instead.
Source: The Daily Mail