MINSK, 9 September (BelTA) - The National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Belarus honored the Belarusian champions and medalists of the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics on 9 September, BelTA has learned.
NOC President Viktor Lukashenko pointed out that the winners of those Games are true legends today not only for Belarusian and Soviet sports, but also for the entire global Olympic movement. He stressed that 50 years ago Belarus was represented in Munich by 21 athletes in 10 sports. Back then the USSR national team won 99 awards, 50 of them were gold. Belarusians won 14 medals, including seven golds.
Olympic champion in fencing Viktor Sidyak said that the gold medal won in Munich became the first one in his sporting career. “In Munich I also suffered a serious eye injury, but the doctors did an excellent job and I still have good eyesight,” said four-time Olympic champion Viktor Sidyak.
Three-time Olympic champion in wrestling Aleksandr Medved noted that he was a flag bearer for the Soviet team at the opening ceremony of the 1972 Games: “It was a great honor and therefore it was impossible to show poor performance. I faced some very strong Americans during the tournament but managed to win my third Olympic gold medal.”
All the 1972 Olympics participants recalled with great sadness that it was the first time the world had experienced a terrorist attack: terrorists attacked members of the Israeli delegation right in the Olympic village. People were killed in that attack, and the organizers even wanted to stop the Games. This, of course, left an oppressive impression on all the guests and participants of the Olympics.
Viktor Lukashenko emphasized that the doors of the NOC headquarters are always open for outstanding athletes; they will always find understanding there, hear kind words and be heard themselves.
Belarusian athletes contributed greatly to the success of the Soviet Union at the Munich Games as part of the Soviet national team which won the team medal standings. Belarusian gymnasts Olga Korbut, Antonina Koshel, Tamara Lazakovich, fencers Elena Belova, Tatyana Samusenko, Viktor Sidyak, wrestler Aleksandr Medved, sprint canoer Nikolai Gorbachev and basketball player Ivan Yedeshko became Olympic champions half a century ago. Ivan Yedeshko made history as the author of the “golden” assist to Alexander Belov who scored the winning goal in the final game against the United States.
In late July, the NOC of Belarus honored medalists of the 25th Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.