Games of the XX Olympiad
The 1972 Games were the largest yet, setting records in all categories, with 195 events and 7,134 athletes from 121 nations. In the early morning of September 5, eight Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic Village, killed two members of the Israeli team and took nine more hostages. In an ensuing battle, all nine Israeli hostages were killed, as were five of the terrorists and one policeman. The Games were suspended for 34 hours and a memorial service was held in the main stadium. The flags of all the countries were flown at half-mast. But the Games continued at the insistence of the IOC President Avery Brundage, who famously said, “The Games must go on!”
Canada was unable to garner any gold in Munich. The swimmers accounted for four of Canada’s five medals: silver went to Leslie Cliff in the 400m IM and Bruce Robertson in the 100m butterly, bronze was won by Donna-Marie Gurr in the 200m backstroke, and Erik Fish, Robert Kasting, William Mahoney and Bruce Robertson in the 4x100m medley relay. The only non-swimming medal was a bronze by sailors Paul Côté, John Ekels and David Miller in the Soling class.
Olympic Oath (athletes): Heidi Schüller (athletics)
Olympic Oath (officials): Heinz Pollay (equestrian sports)
Olympic Oath (coaches): None
Lighting Olympic Cauldron: Günter Zahn
Official Opening: President Gustave Heinemann