Most Memorable Olympic Moments in History

4. Terror Attack on Israeli Olympians – Munich, 1972

The 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, which had been dubbed “the cheerful Games” by organizers, took a horrific turn during its second week when eleven Israeli athletes were taken hostage and eventually killed by Palestinian terrorists. The terrorist group Black September was responsible for the massacre, with logistical assistance provided by local German Neo-Nazis. An initial rescue attempt failed, which led to the eventual death of all eleven hostages plus one German police officer.

The German Olympic organizers were roundly condemned for their lack of safety measures, as well as their heartless attempt to continue with the games after the hostage-taking.

5. North and South Korea March Together – Sydney, 2000

The 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney were widely considered to be the most successful in modern memory. While there were many moments worthy of acclaim, probably the most memorable was when the delegations from North Korea and South Korea marched into the Olympic Stadium under a unified flag for the first time in history. The deal was negotiated by then-IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch, and marked a major step forward in relations between North Korea and the rest of the world.


6. First Doping Scandal – Rome, 1960

Although intense tests for evidence of doping seems like just part of a normal Olympic games nowadays, in 1960 doping was a much newer phenomenon. The 1960 Summer Olympic Games in Rome were the first time that performance enhancing drugs were detected, and they were only found because the athlete in question died in the middle of an event.

An autopsy on cyclist Knud Enemark Jensen found that his system was full of amphetamines, which caused him to lose consciousness and crash his bicycle. Jensen’s death exposed how prevalent performance enhancing drugs were in the world of sports, and by the mid-1960s, sporting organizations were actively taking steps to ban their use.

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