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.
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.
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.
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