By Karolos Grohmann TOKYO (Reuters) –Israeli Olympic team members killed by Palestinian gunmen at the 1972 Munich Olympics were remembered during the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on Friday with a moment of silence, the first time in 49 years.
The move was welcomed by relatives of the victims, some of whom were in the stadium, and Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “I welcome this important and historic moment. May their memory be blessed,” Bennett wrote on Twitter.
The families of the 11 killed had long asked the International Olympic Committee to hold a minute’s silence at a Games opening ceremony but had been turned down for almost half a century.
“We, the Olympic community, also remember all the Olympians and members of our community who have so sadly left us, in particular, we remember those who lost their lives during the Olympic Games,” said an announcer during the opening ceremony.
“One group still holds a strong place in all our memories and stand for all those we have lost at the games – the members of the Israeli delegation at the Olympic Games Munich 1972,” the announcer added as the stadium darkened and soft blue light illuminated parts of the arena.