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Mark Spitz Earns Record Seventh Gold Medal at Summer Olympics, 1972

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: September 3rd, 1972

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Jewish-American former competitive swimmer, Mark Spitz, earns the record seven gold medals at the Munich Summer Olympics #onthisday, 1972.

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An achievement that lasted for 36 years until it was surpassed by fellow American, Michael Phelps, who won eight gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

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Spitz was not able to celebrate much as shortly following victory, he was rushed out of Munich as a result of the Munich Massacre, where eleven Israeli athletes were taken hostage and later murdered by members of the Palestinian terrorist group, Black September two days later on September 5th, 1972.

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Being Jewish himself, there was concern among the Olympic authorities that Spitz would become a likely target for the Palestinians and he was asked to leave Munich for his safety.

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It is believed that he was escorted out of the country by US Marines stationed in West Germany.

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It was on the fifth that the Israeli hostages were murdered by the Palestinian terrorists.

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The eight members of the Black September group had taken nine members of the Israeli Olympic team hostage. After killing two of them previously, they killed the rest along with a West German police officer in a failed rescue attempt by German forces.

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Text Source: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/mark-spitz

Image Source: Bettmann/Getty Images


✍: @_tikvah

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#onthisday#judaism#jewish#history#jewishhistory#onthisday#markspitz#munich#olympics#swimmer#goldmedal#record#munichmassacre

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