Reliable Aly Raisman, American Jewish Olympic Gold Medalist Honors Munich 11
US Gymnast Team Captain and Gold Medalist
My family in Needham, Massachusetts are justly proud of 18 year old US Women’s Gymnast team captain, Aly Raisman, so our her zaydie (grandfather) Marty Raisman and bubbe (grandmother) Susan Faber on her mother Ricky’s side. Aly Raisman has earned the praise of colleagues and coaches earning the sobriquet of ‘reliable” for her fearless ability to dig in and do amazing turns on the balance beam and especially her floor exercises that earned her both team and individual gold medals, along with the bronze for the balance beam third place finish.
A lot of us were taken with her performances in the floor exercises to the strains of Hava Nagila along with rhythmic clapping. There was also that dancing Israeli flag that those watching her in the London 2012 Olympics spied in the bleachers above the performance floor.
Raisman endeared herself to viewers when she took her final gold medal earned in the final individual floor performance and placed it around the neck of her Olympics coach.
However, probably the proudest and most touching moment came when she was interviewed following her final gold medal award when she commented about the controversy over the moment of silent for the 11 Israeli athletes slain during the 1972 Munich Olympics by Palestinian Terrorists. The JTA reported, “Raisman says she was for Munich 11 moment of silence”:
Raisman was speaking to reporters Tuesday following her gold medal performance in the floor exercise.
“Having that floor music wasn’t intentional,” she said of her floor routine to the music of "Hava Nagila," the New York Post reported Wednesday. “But the fact it was on the 40th anniversary is special, and winning the gold today means a lot to me. If there had been a moment’s silence, I would have supported it and respected it.”
A memorial ceremony for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered in Munich was held Monday in London, organized by the Israeli Embassy in London and the National Olympic Committee of Israel along with the London Jewish community.
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge held a moment of silence for the Israelis at a small ceremony in the Olympic Village late last month, but he said a moment of silence at the opening ceremonies in London would not be appropriate. He spoke at Monday's memorial.
International politicians and public figures, including President Obama and presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and the governments of several countries had called for an official moment of silence at the London opening.
Someone who took note of Raisman’s comments and solidarity was Guri Weinberg, son of Moshe Weinberg, one of the 11 Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the Munich games in 1972. In this Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) interview Weinberg publicly thanks US Olympian Aly Raisman for her statement of solidarity with the Munich 11 just after she received her Gold Medal for gymnastics.
Watch this SWC YouTube interview. Guri also thanks the Italian Olympic team and the Virgin Airlines pilot and crew for their public show of support.