Olympic and Paralympic deaths

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At the modern Olympic Games, up to and including the 2016 Summer Paralympics , 10 athletes have died while either competing in or practicing their sport. In addition, another 14 participants have died at the Olympics from other causes; 11 of these deaths resulted from the Munich massacre of 1972.


Several incidents related to the Olympics have caused the death of non-participants. Large numbers were killed during the Lima football riot of 1964 and the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City in 1968. The Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Games caused two deaths.

In competition during the Olympics

In competition during the Paralympics

During Olympic practice or after Olympic competition

Other Olympic deaths

London 1948

In 1948, during the London Olympics, Eliška Misáková, one of nine members of the Czechoslovak women's team in gymnastics, became ill on arrival in the host city. Diagnosed with polio, she died on the last day of the Olympics, the same day her remaining teammates won the competition. [12]

Melbourne 1956

Arrigo Menicocci, Italian rower who competed in eights, was killed as a passenger in a car crash about 90 km northwest of Melbourne during the Olympics on 1 December 1956, four days after the end of the rowing competition. [13]

Munich 1972

In 1972, during the Munich Olympics, 11 members of the Israeli team were killed during a terrorist attack by Palestinian terrorists called Black September.

The 11 Israeli Olympic Team members who were murdered in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich are:

Calgary 1988

Between the morning and afternoon runs of the men's giant slalom, Jörg Oberhammer, 47, the Austrian team doctor, was skiing on a recreational slope when he collided with another skier (a CTV technician) and was knocked under a snow-grooming machine, which crushed him instantly. [14] [15]

Lima 1964

In a qualifying match for the Olympic football tournament, home fans began rioting after a late Peru goal was disallowed. Police fired tear gas into the crowd, exacerbating the situation, which ended with 318 deaths.

Mexico 1968

The Mexico 68 protests were part of a worldwide series of leftwing student-led protests. While the protesting National Strike Council claimed not to link its demands to the Olympics, some students protested at the perceived extravagance of hosting the games, and some sought to exploit the increased foreign media presence in the city for publicity. The authoritarian government had a secret "Olympia Battalion" to ensure security during the Games. Ten days before the games, the unit swept through a mass meeting in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas making arrests. Estimates of the number killed in the operation range from thirty to several hundred.

1996 Olympic Park Bombing

On 27 July 1996 (the eighth day of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games), a bomb exploded at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, killing two and wounding over 100 people.

Athens 2004 Paralympics

Seven teenagers from Farkadona were killed in a crash whilst travelling to Athens for the Games, when their bus collided with a truck near the town of Kamena Vourla. Out of respect for their death, the cultural portion of the closing ceremonies of these Paralympics was cancelled. [16] [17]

Beijing 2008

A Hong Kong Police motorcyclist was on a VIP escort to Sheung Yue River for 2008 Olympic Equestrian events and was killed en route in a traffic collision. [18]

London 2012

On 1 August 2012, a special bus carrying media from the London Olympic Park was involved in a collision in which a cyclist was killed. [19]

Rio de Janeiro 2016

German Olympic coach Stefan Henze died on 15 August 2016 after his taxi was hit in a high-speed head-on collision in Rio. [20]

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1992 Winter Olympics

The 1992 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVI Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as Albertville '92, were a winter multi-sport event held from 8 to 23 February 1992 in and around Albertville, France. Albertville won the bid to host the Winter Olympics in 1986, beating Sofia, Falun, Lillehammer, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Anchorage, and Berchtesgaden. The 1992 Games were the last year the Winter Olympics were held in the same year as the Summer Olympics. The Games were the fifth Olympic Games held in France and the country's third Winter Olympics, after the 1924 Winter Games in Chamonix and the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble.

1964 Winter Olympics

The 1964 Winter Olympics, officially known as the IX Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in Innsbruck, Austria, from January 29 to February 9, 1964. The Games included 1091 athletes from 36 nations, and the Olympic Torch was carried by Joseph Rieder, a former alpine skier who had participated in the 1956 Winter Olympics.

Estonia at the 2006 Winter Olympics Sporting event delegation

Estonia sent 28 athletes to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Half of them competed in cross-country skiing, where Estonia won all of their three Turin Olympic medals. Olympic champion Andrus Veerpalu participated on his 5th Winter Olympics.

Yossef Romano Israeli weightlifter

Yossef Romano was a Libyan-born Israeli weightlifter with the Israeli team that went to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. He was the second of eleven Israeli team members killed in the Munich massacre by Palestinian members of Black September during that Olympics. He was the Israeli weight-lifting champion in the light and middle-weight divisions for nine years.

Yossef Gutfreund was an Israeli wrestling judge for his country's 1972 Olympic team. He was murdered in the Munich massacre by Black September terrorists along with 10 other members of the Israeli team.

2016 Summer Paralympics

The 2016 Summer Paralympics, the 15th Summer Paralympic Games, were a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympic Committee, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 7 to 18 September 2016. The Games marked the first time a Latin American and South American city hosted the event, the second Southern Hemisphere city and nation, the first one being the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, and also the first time a Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) country hosted the event. These Games saw the introduction of two new sports to the Paralympic program: canoeing and the paratriathlon.

Israel at the Olympics Participation of athletes from Israel in the Olympic Games

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Colombia at the Olympics Sporting event delegation

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Whistler Sliding Centre

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Roman Steinberg, was an Estonian Greco-Roman wrestling bronze medal winner in middleweight class at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. Steinberg was also three times Estonian wrestling champion 1921–1923, coached by Robert Oksa.

Georgia at the 2010 Winter Olympics Sporting event delegation

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Nodar Kumaritashvili Georgian luger

Nodar Kumaritashvili was a Georgian luge athlete who suffered a fatal crash during a training run for the 2010 Winter Olympics competition in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, on the day of the opening ceremony. He became the fourth athlete to die during preparations for a Winter Olympics, and the seventh athlete to die in either a Summer or Winter Olympic Games.

Nicolas Bochatay was a Swiss speed skier who died during the 1992 Winter Olympics. Bochatay was killed when he collided with a snow grooming vehicle on the morning of the speed skiing finals. He was the nephew of Olympic skier Fernande Bochatay.

A number of concerns and controversies at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, surfaced before and during the Games, and which received media coverage.

Vinicius and Tom Official mascots of the 2016 Summer Olympics and 2016 Summer Paralympics

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Mongolia at the 2016 Summer Olympics Sporting event delegation

Mongolia competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August 2016. Since the nation made its debut in 1964, Mongolian athletes had appeared in every edition of the Summer Olympic Games, with the exception of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, because of its partial support to the Soviet boycott.

Bahman Golbarnezhad Iranian Paralympic athlete

Bahman Golbarnezhad was an Iranian Paralympic racing cyclist competing in C4 classification events and an earlier powerlifter. During his powerlifting career, he won twelve gold medals and one silver medal in international competitions. Golbarnezhad had represented Iran in two Summer Paralympic Games, first in 2012 in London and later in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. He was the only Iranian cyclist at the 2016 Paralympics. He was a veteran of the Iran–Iraq war.


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