CTV's Brian Williams, the dean of Canadian Olympics broadcasting, slammed the International Olympic Committee on Friday night over the lack of a tribute to the athletes slain in the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
"As Israel prepares to enter, my position is well known. It is one that I have taken at previous Olympics. It is wrong that the IOC refuses to have a minute's silence for Israeli athletes that were slaughtered in Munich," Williams said on air during the parade of nations.
11 athletes were killed during a terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich games. The incident remains the worst terror attack to hit the Olympic Games.
IOC President Jacques Rogge, earlier in the week, defended the IOC's position not to honour the athletes slain in Munich. “We feel that the Opening Ceremony is an atmosphere that is not fit to remember such a tragic incident,” he said.
On Monday, Rogge also held a moment of silence to the Munich victims in the athlete's village.
Of course, Danny Boyle and the organizers of last night's opener did include a moving tribute to victims of the July 7, 2005 terror attack in London.
Williams wasn't alone either, NBC's Bob Costas held an on-air tribute to the slain athletes. "Still, for many, tonight with the world watching is the true time and place to remember those who were lost and how and why they died," Costas said before his network cut to commercial.
Yahoo's Don Landry praised Williams for making a political statement during the broadcast.
"Williams just recently received an Order Of Canada. He wears that pin in even more deserving fashion after today's broadcast. Not every broadcaster is afforded the luxury of saying exactly what they feel, often having to answer to a hierarchy of corporate bosses. Williams has earned the right to do so, and to his credit, does not take the responsibility lightly, nor does he shrink from wielding that power," Landry writes.
The National Post's Bruce Arthur also called for a public tribute to the Munich victims. "Tragedy has been commemorated before. The 9/11 flag from Ground Zero was carried into the 2002 Opening Ceremony in Salt Lake City, surrounded by an honour guard of eight Olympians; the 2010 Opening Ceremony was dedicated to Nodar Kumaritashvili, the young Georgian luger who had died on Olympic ground earlier in the day," he writes.
Twitter Reactions To Brian Williams' Munich Statement
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