1972 Munich Olympic Games

Top Medal Winners – Countries

     Country              G   S   B   Total
 1.  USSR              50  27  22    99
 2.  USA               33  31  30    94
 3.  East Germany      20  23  23    66
 4.  West Germany      13  11  16    40
 5.  Hungry             6  13  16    35
 6.  Japan             13   8   8    29
 7.  Poland             7   5   9    21
 8.  Bulgaria           6  10   5    21
 9.  Italy              5   3  10    18
10.  Great Britain      4   5   9    18
11.  Australia          8   7   2    17
12.  Sweden             4   6   6    16
13.  Romania            3   6   7    16
14.  France             2   4   7    13

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 15.  Kenya              2   3   4     9
=16.  Cuba               3   1   4     8
=16.  Finland            3   1   4     8
 18.  Czechoslovakia     2   4   2     8
 19.  Netherlands        3   1   1     5
 20.  North Korea        1   1   3     5
 21.  Canada             0   2   3     5
 22.  Norway             2   1   1     4
 23.  Yugoslavia         2   1   2     4
 24.  New Zealand        1   1   1     3
 25.  Switzerland        0   3   0     3
 26.  Colombia           0   1   2     3
 27.  Iran               0   2   1     3
 28.  Austria            0   1   2     3
 29.  Uganda             1   1   0     2
 30.  Belgium            0   2   0     2

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 31.  Ethiopia           0   0   2     2
 32.  Brazil             0   0   2     2
 33.  Greece             0   2   0     2
 34.  Denmark            1   0   0     1
=35.  Mexico             0   1   0     1
=35.  Monaco             0   1   0     1
=35.  Pakistan           0   1   0     1
=35.  Turkey             0   1   0     1
=35.  Tunisia            0   1   0     1
=35.  Argentina          0   1   0     1
=35.  Lebanon            0   1   0     1
=42.  Ghana              0   0   1     1
=42.  India              0   0   1     1
=42.  Jamaica            0   0   1     1
=42.  Nigeria            0   0   1     1
=42.  Niger              0   0   1     1
=42.  Spain              0   0   1     1
 48.  South Korea        0   1   0     1
 

Outstanding Athletes

MenAthlete, Country               Sport                    G   S    B  Total 
Mark Spitz, USA                Swimming                 7   -    -    7
Sawao Kato, JPN                Gymnastics               3   2    -    5



                               WomenAthlete, Country               Sport                    G   S    B  Total
Shane Gould, AUS               Swimming                 3   1    1    5
Olga Korbut, URS               Gymnastics               3   1    -    4
Sandra Neilson, USA            Swimming                 3   -    -    3
Melissa Belote, USA            Swimming                 3   -    -    3


Statistics
Dates of Competition:26 August – 11 September
Participants:7123
Attendance: 121 nations
Male athletes: 6,065
Female athletes: 1,058
Most-medaled country: Soviet Union (99)
Sports:21
Events:195
Final Torchbearer:Gunter Zahn

History

The West Germans, having spent more than any other city had ever spent in the past, intended the XX Summer Games to be the largest and most efficiently run in Olympic history. Unfortunately, however, terrorism tarnished the Games.

On September, six days before the end of the Games, eight Palestinian “Black September” commandos gained entry into the Olympic village and attacked the Israeli team’s dormitory, killing 2 Israeli team members and taking nine others hostage. The terrorists demanded that 200 prisoners held in Israeli
jails be released and that the terrorists be granted safe passage out of Germany.

All sporting activities were brought to a standstill and for a moment it seemed that the games would be called off. Later that day (about 10pm), 3 helicopters flew out of the Olympic Village carring the terrorists , their hostages & officials. Their destination was the military airport, Fuerstenfeldbruck.

The Palestinians had demanded safe passage to Cairo, Egypt. But as they left the helicopters to inspect the jet, West German sharpshooters & police opened fire. Three Palestinians were hit , but one made it back to the helicopter. Over the next hour , the police prepared for an assault with armoured cars, but they were too slow. Just after midnight, the hostages were murdered.

In all, 11 Israelis ,5 Palestinians , and one policeman died. Three of the Palestinians survived & were taken into custody.

The Olympics were suspended for 24 hours and a memorial service (attended by 80,000 at the main stadium) was, held. This incident stunned the world and there were calls for the Games to be abandoned .Some countries even took their athletes home.

But the IOC refused to give into the terrorist’s pressure.

Avery Brundage,the 84-year-old outgoing IOC president demanded,”The Games must go on! We must keep them clean, pure and honest.” Competition resumed the day after the memorial service with all flags flying at half-mast.

The terrorist attack tarnished what would otherwise have been an exciting Games. The performance of American, Mark Spitz was probably the highlight of the Games. Twenty-two-year-old Spitz set the record for the most medals won by an individual at a single Games. He won 7 golds for the 100m and 200m freestyle, 100m and 200m butterfly, 4 x 100m and 4 x 200m freestyle relays and the 4 x 100m medley relay.

All these events were won in world record times. Being an American Jew, Spitz was advised by West German officials to leave the country as he was considered a possible terrorist target. Spitz obliged and left the Games before they were over. The female swimming star was Australia’s Shane Gould. This 15 year old Sydney school girl picked up 3 gold medals , as well as a silver and a bronze.

Another outstanding performer was the 17-year-old Soviet gymnast, Olga Korbut. (height-4 ft. 11 in. , weight-85 pounds). She won 3 gold medals, (for the balance beam as well as for the combined team exercises) and helped to establish Soviet dominance in female gymnastics.

The Soviets also caused an upset by winning gold in the basketball. They beat the highly favoured U.S. team (51-50) who held the record of 62 wins and no losses in Olympic basketball history.
Shocked by their defeat, the U.S. refused the silver medal.

The Americans recieved another shock when Rick DeMont,the 400m freestyle gold medalist,
was disqualified for a positive drug test. He had taken the banned substance, ephedrine, which he used to treat asthma. Brad Cooper of Australia was thus awarded the gold medal.

Finally, the two 400m medalists, Vince Matthews and Wayne Collett of the U.S. were banned from any further Olympic competition for showing “disrespect” (they stood relaxed, hands on hips & holding a conversation), while the American National anthem was being played during their victory cermony. The two of them had intended this as a demonstration of “Black Power” , just as Tommie Smith & Juan Carlos had done in Mexico City with their raised fists.

Australia in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games

The 1972 Olympics confirmed that Australia was a force to be reckoned with in swimming.
The hero of the team was undoubtably the blonde 15-year-old Sydney schoolgirl, Shane Gould.
She set out to win 5 gold medals but only won 3.

She won golds in the 200m and 400m freestyle and the 200m individual medley (all in world record
times), silver in the 800m freestyle and bronze in the 100m freestyle.

Gold

  • Swimming-Women’s 200m freestyle : Shane Gould.
  • Swimming-Women’s 400m freestyle : Shane Gould.
    (She won with a 3 second margin,ahead of Novella Calligaris of Italy.)
  • Swimming-Women’s 200m individual medley : Shane Gould.
  • Swimming-Women’s 400m individual medley : Gail Neall.
    (she knocked almost 2 seconds off the world record- recording 5:02.97)
  • Swimming-Women’s 200m breaststroke : Beverley Whitfield.
    (she set a new Olympic time of 2:41.71)
  • Swimming-400m freestyle : Brad Cooper.
    (this gold medal was won by default.
    Brad Cooper finished second to
    American Rick DeMont
    in the 400m freestyle by 0.01 of a second.
    But after the medals had been presented DeMont was stripped of his
    gold for taking asthma medication.)
  • Yachting-Dragon class : John Cuneo, Tom Anderson, John Shaw.
  • Yachting-Star class : David Forbes and John Anderson.
    (Twins, John and
    Tom Anderson,sailing on different boats, won their medals on the same day,
    at virtually the same time.The sailing
    course was held in the Baltic port of Kiel. )

    Silver

  • Swimming-Women’s 800m freestyle : Shane Gould.
  • Swimming-1500m freestyle : Graham Windeatt.
  • Athletics-Women’s 100m Raelene Boyle.
  • Athletics-Women’s 200m : Raelene Boyle.
  • Cycling-1000m time trial : Danny Clark.
    (a future four-times world champion,
    Danny Clark)
  • Cycling-1000m sprint : John Nicholson.
    (a future world champion )
  • Cycling-182km individual road race : Kevin Sefton(the first Australian
    to win an Olympic road race medal)

    Bronze

  • Swimming-Women’s 100m freestyle : Shane Gould.
  • Swimming-Women’s 100m breaststroke : Beverley Whitfield.
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