Munich 11 athlete inducted to Sports Hall of Fame

Member of weightlifting team of Israel's delegation at 1972 Munich Olympics will be part of National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 9, 2013 11:36
1 minute read.
SHMUEL LALKIN, mission head for the 1972 Olympics.

Munich Ceremony (R370). (photo credit: REUTERS/Michael Dalder)

David Berger, a weightlifting team member of the Israeli delegation to the 1972 Munich Olympics will be inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on April 21.

The American-born athlete won bronze and gold medals in the 1965 and 1969 Maccabia Games.

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He then went on to represent the Jewish state at the Munich Olympic Games, where he became a victim of one of the worst tragedies in Jewish history, which saw 11 Israeli Olympians taken hostage and brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists.

Berger, who made aliya in 1970, moved to Tel Aviv and was supposed to begin serving in the IDF in 1972, but never got the chance, due to the tragic ending to the Olympic Games.

David won a  silver medal at the 1971 Asian Weightlifting Championships and he made the 1972 Israeli Olympic Team.

On September 2, 1972, Berger competed, but was eliminated in an early round of the Olympics. Berger had not expected to win, but being there, competing for Israel was enough, he said.

On September 5, Berger was taken captive along with other members of the Israeli delegation, by members the Palestinian terrorist group, Black September. Eleven Israelis, including Berger, were killed.

Though small in stature at 5' 6", Berger tried to bar his captors from entering. Held with his teammates at gunpoint, he suggested that they jump the terrorists."We have nothing to lose," he whispered in Hebrew.

Berger believed that sports were about more than competition and winning. Instead, he saw them as tools promoted camaraderie and break down social barriers.

The ceremony will be held at the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 74 Hauppauge Road, Commack, New York, on Sunday morning, April 21, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.


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