The Russian Jewish community hosted a commemoration service at the Olympic village in Sochi, in honor of the 11 Israeli athletes killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich games.
“So when you think of the history of Israeli athletes going to different Olympics, mentioning the Munich ’72 massacre, is…always tell us you know being Jewish sometimes is not as comfortable as you would like it to be,” Chief Russian Rabbi Berel Lazar said at the ceremony.
“But it really depends on us to move forward, not be ashamed and then the people around us are going to understand that we are here to stay and we are open about it.”
Holding commemorative ceremonies for the Israeli delegation at each games became a tradition following the Munich Massacre. In the 2012 summer games in London, a wide campaign to hold a moment of silence for the 40th anniversary was refused by the International Olympic Committee.
“I feel like we are representing them and what they couldn’t achieve because of people who are against us, and we have to all be together the way were greeted today and stand behind each other, because we’re Jewish and we are all a part of this community and have to support each other,” said Andrea Davidovich, a US-born Israeli figure skater.
“I think every time, at every Olympics there should be a moment of silence for those who died at the Olympics, not important whether from terrorism or training or in competition. I think there should always be a moment of silence at every Olympics–summer and winter,” added figure skater Evgeni Krasnopolski.