- 03 Aug 2016
- Olympic News
IOC President Thomas Bach inaugurated a Place of Mourning in the Olympic Village today, in a ceremony to remember all those who have passed away during the Olympic Games.
Addressing athletes, IOC Executive Board Members, delegations from NOCs and other invited guests, President Bach highlighted the universal human need for remembrance.
“Here in the Olympic Village, in this place rich with meaning for all Olympians, we want to give the athletes and others a dedicated space to express their mourning in a dignified way,” he said. “We have chosen the Olympic Village as the location for the Place of Mourning because it symbolizes the unity of the Olympic family.”
During the ceremony, President Bach paid a special tribute to the victims of the attack during the Olympic Games Munich 1972. Reading the names of each of the victims of the Israeli Olympic Team, President Bach said the attacks were an assault on the Olympic values and on the universal power of sport to unite all of humanity in peace and solidarity. “The Olympic Games are always an affirmation of life, so let our commemoration today also be an affirmation of their lives,” he said, in the presence of the widows of two of the victims.
President Bach also specifically honoured the memory of all athletes, officials and other persons who have died during the Olympic Games. As representative for all those, he mentioned Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia who died on the luge track during the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010.
The participants observed a minute of silence and the Olympic Anthem was played to honour all the deceased.
The Place of Mourning includes two stones from ancient Olympia, to make the symbolic link to the birthplace of the Olympic Games.