American Gymnast Raisman Honors Slain Israeli Athletes

Wednesday, 08 Aug 2012 10:11 AM

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American gymnast Aly Raisman paid tribute to the 11 Israeli athletes killed 40 years ago by Palestinian gunmen at the Munich Olympics, the New York Post reported.

The 18-year-old Jewish-American competing in London, who became the first American to win gold in the floor exercise, performed with the Hebrew folk song “Hava Nagila” playing in the background, according to the Post. “Having that floor music wasn’t intentional,” she told reporters after her performance. “But the fact it was on the 40th anniversary is special, and winning the gold today means a lot to me.”

She went on to say, “If there had been a moment’s silence, I would have supported it and respected it.”

Post columnist Leonard Green wrote, “Raisman finished first in the women’s floor exercise, but she deserves to have another medal draped around her neck for having the chutzpah to face the world and do what needed to be done and say what needed to be said.” Greene continued, “At the same Olympic Games where bigoted organizers stubbornly refuse to honor the slain athletes with a moment of silence, 18-year-old Raisman loudly shocked observers first by winning, then by paying her own tribute to 11 sportsmen who died long before she was born.”

Despite calls from the Anti-Defamation League and leaders around the world saying a moment of silence during the opening ceremony is the right thing to do, the International Olympic Committee has refused to honor the dead during the Games.



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