Rio: It’s Wasn’t Munich

The Ryan Lochte flap is a lesson in sportsmanship (bad) and public relations (worse). Four guys, over the moon with Olympic victory and free French champagne, were out late partying. Oddly enough, they stopped at a gas station to use the toilet. They “trashed” the men’s room. That’s pretty hard to do, as most things are bolted to the wall. A security guard pointed a gun at them and they “paid” for their damage. Fifty bucks doesn’t sound like a lot of damage, but hey, I wasn’t there.

Chalk it up to self-centered drunks in culture shock. Lochte’s shock of silver hair was a “look at me” gesture. It also highlighted his Paul-Newman-worthy blue eyes.

He lied about the event. The Brazilians pulled out their CCTV and he was caught. There was that silver hair. He’s going to lose millions in endorsements. In our “theres-no-such-thing-as-bad-publicity” culture, he’ll still be okay.

It wasn’t Munich.

Young adults don’t remember the 1972 Olympics in Munich. The Israeli team was taken hostage by the Black September faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Click Here to read the story, rife with preventable errors, that ended with the death of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches. None of us who watched the ups and downs of the story will ever forget the late Jim McKay’s words, “They’re all gone.” They are iconic, like “Houston. The Eagle as landed.”  Or like Walter Cronkite’s taking off his glasses and telling us President Kennedy was dead.

It was one of the first real-time terror attacks captured on film and Time-Life  photographer Co Rentmeester’s photos are chilling today. Click here to see them. The attackers, by the way, were released. The 2005 movie “Munich” tells the story of Israel’s “revenge.” If you haven’t seen it, it is an excellent movie.

Thank heaven the worst thing to come from Rio was flameout of words, not the flashes of gunfire.