The Italian delegation to the 2012 London Olympiad made an emotional gesture at the Olympic village on Sunday by holding a minute of silence together with a number of Israeli representatives for the 11 victims of the 1972 Munich massacre.
Over 30 members of the Italian delegation - headed by Sports Minister Piero Gnudi, Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Petrucci and International Olympic Committee member Franco Carraro - held the ceremony near the Israelis' quarters.
Israel was represented by Zvi Varshaviak, chairman of the Olympic Committee of Israel; Efraim Zinger, head of the Olympic delegation; shooter Sergey Richter on behalf of the athletes; and Guy Strik on behalf of the coaches.
Varshaviak said the gesture was beautiful and moving. "It's a brave sign of solidarity and friendship between the Olympic family of Italy and that of Israel, which has continued for many years," he said.
Zinger thanked the Italians and explained to them that his committee is doing everything to memorialize the 11 Munich victims as Israelis. However, he said, it is important to remember that they were also Olympic athletes, coaches and judges who were murdered during athe Olympics.
"Therefore they are children of the Olympic movement and in our opinion it is the moral obligation of the International Olympic Committee to find a suitable way to perpetuate their memory," Zinger added.