SHOWTIME Documentary Memorializes 1972 Olympic Terrorism -- August 7, 2002
NEW YORK, August 7. SHOWTIME has set an airdate for sports chronicler Bud Greenspan's original documentary commemorating the terrorist attack at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.
The 90-minute film, entitled "THE 1972 MUNICH OLYMPIC GAMES: BUD GREENSPAN REMEMBERS," will premiere on Thursday, September 5 at 10:00 P.M. (ET/PT), exactly 30 years to the day that 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were murdered by Arab terrorists.
Written, produced and directed by Emmy and Peabody Award winner Greenspan, the documentary features rare archival footage and interviews with many of the significant organizers, participants, and witnesses to the Games -- such as Shmuel Lalkin (head of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team), Gad Tsobari (a wrestler who was captured by the terrorists and escaped), Walther Troeger (Mayor of the 1972 Olympic Village who was involved in negotiations with the terrorists) and General Ulrich Wegener, (former head of Germany's GSG9 counter-terrorism force).
Greenspan, who was a 44-year-old NBC radio reporter at the time, witnessed the tragic events first hand. The film features Greenspan's actual radio broadcasts from Munich as well as his current on-camera reflections.
While focused on the tragic events in Munich, THE 1972 MUNICH OLYMPIC GAMES: BUD GREENSPAN REMEMBERS will also include many remarkable athletic achievements that played out at the Olympics. Some athletes highlighted include Olga Korbut, Mark Spitz, Valeri Borzov, Dave Wottle and others.
The terrorist attack began in the early morning of September 5, 1972 when eight Arabs, who belonged to a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) faction called Black September, violated the sanctity of the Olympic Games. Wearing track sweat suits, the terrorists scaled the fence surrounding the Olympic Village and proceeded to kill two members of the Israeli team and hold several more hostage. At the end of that dark day, 11 Israelis, five Arab terrorists and one German police officer were dead. This incident, now referred to as "The Munich Massacre," was the worst tragedy in the history of the Olympics.
On the following morning of September 6th, in front of a worldwide audience whose innocence regarding terrorism had been shattered, a memorial service was held to honor the slain athletes. Later that day, the controversial resumption of the Olympics Games commenced - a statement that terrorism would not be victorious over the Games of peace and international friendship. Sadly and ironically, the 1972 Olympics had been promoted as "the Peaceful Games," since Germany had wanted to invite the world back for the first time since WWII with a peaceful and festive celebration.
Greenspan has become internationally known for his humanistic approach to Olympic filmmaking -- featuring both popular and little-known stories of courage, pride and endurance that are often overlooked by the television coverage. Greenspan has also been called the foremost writer/producer/director of sports films and one of the world's leading sports historians.
Running Time 1:30:00
Additional Airdates 9/16/02 at 6:15 PM; 9/28/02 at 10:15 AM