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IOC denies in-person appeal for minute of silence

JTA

July 26, 2012 | 10:00 am

Ankie Spitzer (left) and Ilana Romano whose husbands fencing coach Andrei Spitzer and weightlifter Yossef Romano were killed during the attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, present a petition for the minute of silence to reporters in London on July 25. Photo by REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Ankie Spitzer (left) and Ilana Romano whose husbands fencing coach Andrei Spitzer and weightlifter Yossef Romano were killed during the attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, present a petition for the minute of silence to reporters in London on July 25. Photo by REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

The International Olympic Committee rejected an in-person appeal for a minute of silence at the opening ceremonies of the London Games by the widows of two of the 11 Israelis slain at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano presented their request to IOC President Jacques Rogge on Wednesday along with a petition with more than 100,000 signatures. Rogge again denied the request.

Rogge held a minute of silence in memory of the murdered 11 athletes and coaches at a small ceremony Monday in the Olympic Village. The widows have said the gesture was not sufficient.

“We are outraged by the denial of the request, which comes not only from us but from so many people around the world,” Spitzer said in a statement. “Our husbands were murdered at the Olympics in Munich. To observe a minute of silence in their memory would let the world know where the IOC stands in the fight against terrorism.”

Organizers of the campaign for a minute of silence have called on attendees at the opening ceremonies on Friday to stand and hold their own minute of silence at the beginning of Rogge’s speech.

The campaign has drawn the support of numerous public figures, including President Obama and presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Spitzer’s husband, Andrei, was a fencing coach. Romano’s husband, Yossef, was a weightlifter.

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