Families of slain Israeli athletes press for Olympic recognition

Rekhess-Spitzer was 26 when her husband, fencing coach Andrei Spitzer, was killed during an attack by the Black September Palestinian terrorist group during the 1972 Olympics in Germany.

She and Ilana Romano, whose husband, weightlifter Yosef Romano, was among the dead, have been leading the battle with the IOC to gain recognition for the fallen athletes.

Dutch-born Rekhess-Spitzer, who today is married to Tel Aviv University Professor Elie Rekhess, stressed that the families are not asking for a memorial to the slain athletes for political reasons.

"We don't ask that they mention 11 Israelis, or 11 Jews. We just ask that they mention the 11 athletes who came to participate in the international games with a spirit of peace and brotherhood, and went home in coffins."

In addition to ignoring the massacre in official literature, the International Olympic Committee has denied the families' request that their 14 children be invited to participate in the opening ceremony of the Atlanta games in July.

Olympic officials in Lausanne, Switzerland, have refused to comment on the matter.

The International Olympic Committee, meanwhile, has approved the participation of a delegation of athletes from "Palestine."